HC Deb 16 March 1955 vol 538 cc1289-90
39. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how far his estimate of £120 million for the expanded road programme included interest charges; and how much he will now have to add to his previous calculations to meet the higher interest rates which have been introduced.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "Not at all." The answer to the second part is, therefore, "Nothing."

Mr. Hynd

Although the Minister may not have made any calculation of the interest charges in the first place, is it not fairly simple for him to have regard to the increase in interest charges and to say what difference will be made?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No question of interest charges here arises. This expenditure, under present practice, falls directly on the Budget.

Mr. I. O. Thomas

Would the Minister indicate what he means by his reply that although the Bank Rate has gone up the loan charges are not affected? If that is so and logically true, would it not be advisable to increase the Bank Rate to 10 per cent.?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I did not say that loan charges were not affected. There is in this case no question of loan charges at all. It is a straight Budgetary expense.