HC Deb 19 April 1932 vol 264 cc1419-20

I come to the Estimates for the Supply Services, and in consideration of this question no doubt the Committee will desire to know how far savings which we expected to make last September can still be anticipated in the light of our present information. My predecessor estimated in September that, taking into account the decision to bear on the Votes the services of the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Road Fund., instead of borrowing for them, the total required for Supply Services would be £526,000,000. From that the National Government pro posed to effect savings amounting to 70,000,000, leaving a, total of £456,000,000. The Estimates which have been presented to Parliament, however, amount only to £447,204,000, so that the Committee will see that the savings we now anticipate total nearly £79,000,000, instead of the £70,000,000 expected last September, and that result, I must remark, has been achieved in spite of concessions on pay cuts which amounted to £3,500,000, and also a sum of £1,250,000 unprovided for which was found to be necessary for Income Tax collection and work under the Import Duties Act.

Of course, a large part of this extra saving is due to the fact that we anticipate continued diminution in the figures of unemployment. But there have been reductions over the other Departments of State larger than those which were forecast last autumn, and I desire here gratefully to acknowledge the assistance which I have received in this respect from my colleagues in charge of the spending Departments. Of course, the ordinary expenditure does not include the two self-balancing items. The first, the Post Office, amounts to £59,188,000, and the Roads to £22,910,000. Omitting these two figures, the total of the Supply Services is £447,204,000. I have already given the Consolidated Fund Services as £318,800,000, and, adding those together, we get a total estimated ordinary expenditure of £766,000,000 for 1932, including the Sinking Fund.

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