asked the Secretary of State for Industry for what purpose his Department is collecting statistics from the building industry on the purchase of building materials; under which Act the survey is authorised; and what sanctions will be taken against firms which fail to supply the required information.
The business statistics office will be asking firms in the construction industry employing 20 or more persons for details of their purchases of building materials as an extension of the qnnual census of production for 1979. The census is taken under section 2 of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947 and firms failing to complete returns are liable to prosecution under section 4 of that Act.Detailed information on purchases by the construction industry was last sought in 1968. It will be used to bring up to date the basis of calculating the construction materials price index and related indices which are used extensively in price variation adjustments. It will also be used in the preparation of input/output tables to study the interdependence between industries. A wide variety of firms and trade associations have stressed to us how important this information is.