Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Census of Population.

28.

asked the Minister for Labour if his Department has considered the effect of not holding a census in 1976 on manpower policy and the preparation of necessary data for employment programmes.

The institution this year by the Central Statistics Office of a labour force survey wil ensure the provision of basic statistics of employment and unemployment and, in addition, information on a number of supplementary topics such as the working environment and basic vocational training, in the context of manpower policy and the preparation of necessary data for employment programmes this survey will provide much of the information needed. Proposals for holding labour force surveys in 1977 and 1979 are under consideration. The deferment of the census which would have cost £1.7 million will not impede the Department in their work in the manpower area.

Did I hear the Minister say that the information available would provide some of the information, which obviously means there would be gaps. Would he not now agree there must be a serious setback and employment policies if there is no census held in 1976? In addition, is the Minister not aware that, despite the figure mentioned, it in itself would have created employment and job opportunities for many people, thus saving on the live register and contribut towards the £1.7 million it would cost?

I did not say "some of the information" and, therefore, I believe the rest of the question is entirely irrelevant.

Would the Minister not agree that, in view of the number of jobs that would be provided by the holding of the census and the need for employment, there could have been a contribution, perhaps from the live register, towards the cost of the census which would have meant a net cost of far less than £1.7 million to the State if the census was held in 1976?

All matters were considered before the decision was taken and the Government were satisfied that such is not the case.