HC Deb 24 April 1928 vol 216 cc832-3

I come now to the expenditure of 1928. I estimate the Consolidated Fund Services as follows: Debt—£355,000,000, setting aside for the moment the special addition of £14,000,000 to the Sinking Fund, to which I have referred. Road Fund— £21,500,000, an increase of £2,000,000 over last year. Local Taxation Account—£14,200,000. Northern Ireland Residuary share £5,400,000. Other Consolidated Fund Services—£2,600,000. That brings the total of the Consolidated Fund Services to £398,700,000. The figures for the Supply Services have already been laid before the House at a total of £407,495,000. Thus the total estimated expenditure for 1928. on the above basis, becomes £806,195,000. This figure compares with the estimate of £833,390,000, which I made this time last year, and with £838,535,000 actually spent last year. This is a reduction of £27,000,000 from the estimated, and £32,000,000 from the realised expenditure of last year. I have, however, on numerous occasions pointed out how very misleading such figures are unless they are analysed. [Interruption.] We have had the greatest difficulty in persuading hon. Gentlemen opposite to analyse them when they appear to trend in a direction which supported some particular argument that they were advancing; but I have always said that the figures should be analysed. In the analysis it is essential that the profitable and the self-supporting services and the provision for the extinction of debt should be separated from the ordinary cost of carrying on the government of the country.