HC Deb 03 April 1974 vol 871 c376W
Mr. Michael Latham

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many persons are currently working on a self-employed basis in the construction industry; and what statistical sources of information are available to him on this matter.

Mr. John Silkin

It is estimated that in the United Kingdom construction industry between 350,000 and 400,000 persons are currently working on a self-employed basis either as working proprietors or as self-employed operatives.

The principal statistical sources for this information are the censuses of population, my Department's censuses of building and civil engineering firms, the insurance card counts by the Department of Health and Social Security, the numbers of Inland Revenue tax exemption certificates issued to building sub-contractors under the provisions of the 1972 Finance Act, and VAT registration data from Her Majesty's Customs and Excise. Further information should soon be available from the 1973 Labour Force Survey conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.