§ 20. Mr. Ridley
asked the Minister of Labour if he will seek powers to grant agricultural engineers and contractors refund of Selective Employment Tax.
§ Mr. Hattersley
Agricultural engineers whose main business is dealing in agricultural machinery are classified under a distribution heading which does not attract refund of selective employment tax. I see no reason to treat them differently from the rest of the distributive trades. Agricultural contractors are in general already eligible for refund.
§ 37. Mr. Crouch
asked the Minister of Labour whether he now has evidence as to the extent to which the Selective Employment Tax has succeeded in achieving redeployment from service into manufacturing industry; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hattersley
Between June, 1966 and June 1967, the number of employees in employment in the sectors of the economy which bear Selective Employment Tax fell by about 4.4 per cent. In the construction industry the numbers fell by 5.6 per cent., in the distributive trades by 4.3 per cent., in miscellaneous services by 3.7 per cent. Over the same period employment in manufacturing fell less sharply by only 3.1 per cent. Over the past six or seven years the tendency176W has been for employment in manufacturing to rise slowly and for employment in construction, distribution and miscellaneous services to increase at a much faster rate. The previous trend (as a result of which manufacturing industry employed a decreasing proportion of the working population) has been reversed. It seems clear that S.E.T. has played a major part in bringing this reversal about.