HC Deb 26 January 1956 vol 548 cc359-60
54. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is now the weekly payment per head of the population in respect of defence, housing and health and other major items of national expenditure.

Mr. H. Brooke

Average weekly expenditure on the services provided by the Government and by local authorities, per head of the total population, during the year 1954, was as follows: on defence 12s. 8d.; on housing 3s. 8d.; on health 4s. 1d.; on education and child care 4s. 2d.; on National Insurance benefits, pensions and assistance 7s.; on National Debt interest 4s. 9d.; and on all other services 8s. 9d. I regret that similar information is not yet available for the year 1955.

Mr. Hughes

While thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask him whether the weekly cost of housing is going down and the weekly expenditure on so-called defence is going up?

Mr. Brooke

The Estimates for 1956–57 will be published shortly and will provide additional information.

Sir T. Moore

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether this sum of 4s. 9d. to which he referred as coming under the National Debt is not largely due to the American loan incurred by the former Government on which the interest became payable in 1952?

Mr. Brooke

I was cautious a few minutes ago about answering a supplementary question on the National Debt, and I think my caution had better extend to the subject under this head, too.

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