§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the average remuneration paid to North Sea divers for the most recent year for which figures are available; and whether any tax or other concessions are permitted bearing in mind the risks involved and the relatively short careers afforded to divers working at considerable depths.
§ Mr. Golding
North Sea divers are not separately identified in my Department's surveys, so I regret that information on their average earnings is not available. The second part of the Question is a matter for my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Social Services.
§ Mr. Benn
I have been asked to reply.
A register of divers employed in the North Sea is not kept and the numbers vary considerably with the season.
It is estimated that at peak periods during 1977 the total number of divers employed in the North Sea were in excess of 1,500, of which an estimated 1,000 were employed in the British sector.
Estimates for divers operating at peak periods in the British sector for 1976 were 1,000; for 1975 800; and for 1974 500.