HC Deb 17 June 1968 vol 766 c687
12. Mr. Costain

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what representations he has received from the construction industry about the problems of capital investment in plant and machinery; and what reply he has sent.

Mr. Mellish

I have been approached several times within the last few months about different aspects of this problem. Most recently, in January, it was suggested that investment grants should be paid on construction equipment under £25 in value. After consultation with the Board of Trade, it was decided that the present ruling could not be changed.

Mr. Costain

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a test case is still going on about this matter? In view of his special interest in winter building, does he appreciate the importance of publicising the type of plant and machinery which can be used, and, if he is receiving representations from certain sections of the industry, will he see that the whole industry knows about it?

Mr. Mellish

Yes, Sir, I shall do anything I can to back up the suggestion made by the hon. Gentleman. The difficulty here arises in connection with the smaller firm which buys only one or two pieces of equipment costing below £25. If the amount involved is over £25, firms will have the grant. There is an anomaly here, and I am trying to find the best way to achieve what we want. I shall do all I can.