HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 cc582-3
32. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the estimated loss in purchasing power of post-war credits worth £100 in 1945; and whether he will take steps either to pay interest on all such outstanding credits or revalue them according to present costs.

Mr. H. Brooke

The present purchasing power of £100 of post-war credits is approximately the same as that of £62 10s. 0d. in 1945. The answer to the latter part of the Question is, "No, Sir."

Mr. Hamilton

In view of the answer to the first part of the Question, how can the right hon. Gentleman be so heartless as to give the second part of his Answer? Why do the Government persist in the deliberate purloining of money belonging to these people, which has been a forced loan now for more than 10 years?

Mr. Brooke

The hon. Member suggests paying interest on the credits. I think that if we had the money to pay interest it would be better to use it to speed up the rate of repayments. As for the depreciation, he will realise that nearly three-quarters of it took place in the time of the Labour Government.

Mr. H. Butler

Is it the Government's policy to withhold the repayment of these post-war credits until they are entirely wiped out?

Mr. Brooke

I am not quite sure whether I appreciate the force of that question. We are repaying them at the rate of £18 million a year.

Mr. Butler

But £100 of certificates is now worth only £62 10s.