HC Deb 27 November 1967 vol 755 cc16-7
25. Mr. Ronald Bell

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what representations he has received from builders, and those in allied industries, about the level of taxation in those industries; and what reply he has sent.

Mr. Mellish

Four in all, about the Selective Employment Tax. Individual replies have been sent explaining the Government's purpose in the application of this tax.

Mr. Bell

Is the right hon. Gentleman sure that he can brush the matter aside as lightly as that? Is there not in the building industry a high proportion of close companies so that the total taxation on profits is over 66 per cent.? How does the Minister think he will get the houses finished and the very much greater efficiency that he wants—remembering the little man, as he says—if the Government go on like this?

Mr. Mellish

I was asked what representations I have received. I have been in my present office since 1st September, and since then I have had four letters, two from small builders, one from a Member of Parliament and the fourth direct from a member of the public. If the industries generally concerned with this want to discuss matters again, they but I have already met 17 representative bodies of the building and construction industry, and they are not as pessimistic as the hon. and learned Member.