HC Deb 14 May 1959 vol 605 c1405
12. Mr. Russell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will devise a scheme for using the capital surrendered as Estate Duty for investment in the Commonwealth or some other useful field instead of spending it as revenue and thereby reducing the nation's wealth.

Mr. Erroll

No, Sir. It would be a departure from accepted principles of Government finance to hypothecate particular items of revenue for the sort of purpose suggested. In any case, since a large proportion of Government capital expenditure is met from current revenue, I could not accept the implication of the Question.

Mr. Russell

Would it not be better if our finances were put on the right basis to start with, namely. that capital should be used for capital purposes and not revenue, which would mean reversing sonic of the present arrangements?

Mr. Erroll

In 1958–59. Estate Duty yielded about £170 million but Government expenditure on capital account far exceeded that, amounting to about £1,000 million.