HC Deb 20 June 1966 vol 730 cc32-3
55. Mr. Maurice Macmillan

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will cause to be maintained a register of those disabled and retired persons at present in full or part-time employment whose employment is terminated as a result of the Selective Employment Tax.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

No, Sir. A careful watch will be kept on the Unemployed Register to see whether there is any marked change in the number of disabled persons and persons above retirement age previously employed in the service industries.

Mr. Macmillan

Does the hon. Lady realise that there are, or may be, a large number of these people who cannot contribute enough to justify an employer paying the extra amount involved in the Selective Employment Tax? Will she considpr keeping a special register of these to see what the effects will be? I am only talking about keeping a register to find out the facts.

Mrs. Williams

My right hon. Friend and I are not unsympathetic to the hon. Gentleman's purpose, but he will appreciate that it is very difficult to establish precisely why employment is terminated, and therefore we are going to base our attempts to assess any effect that this may have on the monthly count of the unemployment register and reports from local offices. This is a question of method and not of principle.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

What justification can the hon. Lady give for imposing this tax on the employment of disabled people?

Mrs. Williams

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that this tax is being imposed on employers, and that the disabled register is still in existence, and my Minister will make every effort to ensure that this group does not suffer.