HC Deb 26 January 1956 vol 548 cc358-9
51. Mr. Jay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer his present estimate of the total expenditure on National Debt interest in the present financial year; and how this compares with the previous year.

Mr. H. Brooke

I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the Financial Statement of 19th April, 1955. It is not the practice to publish revised Budget Estimates in the course of the financial year.

Mr. Jay

Does the Financial Secretary realise that this Government are spending something like £200 million a year more than the Labour Government on debt interest and that this weighs very heavily on the balance of payments as well as on the Budget? Does he not think there is some field here for economy?

Mr. Brooke

I think this is a question which is eminently suitable for debate at the time of the Budget and the Finance Bill which follows it.

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