HC Deb 25 November 1970 vol 807 cc408-9
21. Mr. Tebbit

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much he anticipates the yield of selective employment tax will be from the construction industry during the financial year 1970–71.

Mr. Amery

About £135 million.

Mr. Tebbit

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that this tax, which is a tax on homes and was imposed by people who are always hawking their consciences about the homeless, should have gone by now? Should he not lean on some of his hon. Friends to help the industry?

Mr. Amery

Certainly the impact of the tax on the construction industry is very heavy and represents about a fifth of the total amount collected in S.E.T.

Mr. Loughlin

Will the Minister indicate that in the event of S.E.T. on the building industry being eliminated, the building industry will agree to reduce the price of houses?

Mr. Amery

It is not for me to say what the industry will do. That is a hypothetical question. The right hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. John Silkin), who was Minister of Public Building and Works in the last Government, explained that the impact of selective employment tax on the construction industry was very serious.