HC Deb 12 July 1984 vol 63 c1347
6. Mr. Parry

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received since he last answered oral questions from employer organisations and trades unions in the construction industry concerning his Budget proposals.

Mr. Peter Rees

My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from bodies representing the construction industry in recent weeks.

Mr. Parry

The Chief Secretary and the Chancellor will be aware of the concern expressed both by building employers and trade unions in the construction industry. They will also be aware of the massive unemployment rate in the industry. Does he not agree that, in this critical period, the Government should assist the industry rather than attack it?

Mr. Rees

I think that the hon. Gentleman has overlooked the fact that, by abolishing the national insurance surcharge, we shall probably have contributed £20 million in cash to the construction industry in 1984–85, and £60 million in 1985–86.

Mr. Heddle

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that there is widespread concern in the construction industry about rumours of a moratorium on capital spending? Will he take this opportunity to deny that rumour?

Mr. Rees

My hon. Friend is right to the extent that preliminary indications suggest a danger of overspending, but the appropriate response has not yet been determined.

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