HC Deb 01 December 1966 vol 737 c606
29. Mr. Onslow

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs how many staff in the private sector of the economy he estimates are wholly or mainly employed with work which is directly connected with the compilation and rendering of official returns, statistics, and other forms, with the collection of taxes, and with other similar activities performed on behalf of the Government; and how many were so employed on 1st October, 1964.

Mr. Albu

It would not be practicable to isolate these elements of cost or give any useful estimate of numbers.

Mr. Onslow

Leaving aside the fact that that Answer reveals the same sort of complacency as has characterised all the Minister's responses this afternoon, does he not think that it would be valuable for the Government to know how many people the private sector has to employ unproductively on the Government's behalf?

Mr. Albu

I do not know if the hon. Gentleman is suggesting that we should give up collecting this type of information. Most of the time we are being pressed by industry for more statistics to be made available faster to help it in its export drive.

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