HC Deb 04 July 1978 vol 953 c221
12. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what were the respective percentages of the population in employment in 1976 and 1977 employed by (a) public corporations, including nationalised industries, (b) central Government, including Her Majesty's Forces, and (c) local authorities; and how this compares with the total figures of 27.1 per cent. in 1973.

Mr. Harold Walker

In 1976, the latest year for which information is available, 7.9 per cent. of the United Kingdom employed labour force was employed by public corporations, 9.5 per cent. by central Government and 12.2 per cent. by local authorities, giving a total of 29.5 per cent.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

As the Minister's reply shows a fair increase on the 1973 figures, can he tell me whether it is the Government's policy that these figures should continue to rise? How is it that figures after 1976, including those for the whole of 1977, are not available although we are now in the middle of 1978?

Mr. Walker

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman shares the view of many hon. Members that perhaps there is too much seeking of statistical information and too many censuses and surveys. I wish that Conservative Members would make up their minds whether they want the inquiries that will provide the information they seek or want the number of surveys and inquiries reduced. On the more substantial point, it is interesting that the hon. Gentleman carefully selected 1973 as a comparison, but the increases to which I have referred are consistent with the general rate of increase over the whole of the last decade. There seems to be a fairly constant increase over the years.