HC Deb 11 March 1969 vol 779 c1160
29. Mr. Speed

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how his Department obtains information about increases in building costs; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellish

The Board of Trade collects monthly information from manufacturers on the costs of a wide range of building materials. The Department of Employment and Productivity collects monthly information from contractors on labour earnings. From these figures my Department compiles an index of the current cost of new building which, during 1968, rose by about 4 per cent. The increase would have been greater had the industry not succeeded in absorbing some of its extra costs.

Mr. Speed

Will the Minister now, with the squeeze and the other measures which have been taken, say by how much he expects costs to rise this year?

Mr. Mellish

I cannot say that until I am in a position to be reasonably accurate.

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