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Building Labour Costs

Volume 436: debated on Friday 2 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Works the average cost, per building manhour, of British workers; and the comparable cost of prisoners of war doing similar work.

The use of prisoners of war in building and civil engineering is confined to labouring work. The cost of British labour on work of this type depends upon such factors as the district rate of wages payable, and the payment of travelling and subsistence allowances and a general average is not available. Contractors using prisoners of war are required to pay to the Government the appropriate British wage rate for comparable work in respect of the time worked by the prisoners, but travelling and subsistence allowances do not arise. Contractors may, in addition, incur extra overhead costs for increased supervision, etc., but such costs vary widely and no general average can be formulated.