HC Deb 05 May 1971 vol 816 c1351
6. Mr. Strang

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take special measures to alleviate unemployment in the building industry in the Edinburgh area.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

We have already taken account of the unemployment situation in reaching our decision to schedule the whole of the Edinburgh area as an intermediate area. The construction industry will benefit especially from the halving of selective employment tax.

Mr. Strang

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that thousands of building workers in the Edinburgh area are unemployed and that at the same time thousands of families in Edinburgh are inadequately housed? Will he attempt to alleviate this crisis situation by inviting the local authorities and the Regional Hospital Board to advance, where possible, the starting dates for some of their major building projects?

Mr. Campbell

I am aware of the need for more work for the building industry as well as of the unemployment situation in other industries. In various measures, such as the increased expenditure on hospital building and primary schools and also in measures put forward by Edinburgh, for example the modernisation of older local authority housing at Craigmillar, I will give every encouragement to getting ahead with building.