HC Deb 03 March 1960 vol 618 c1419
43. Mr. Lipton

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the latest total of hire-purchase debts.

8. Mr. Dodds

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the total amount of hire-purchase debts up to the latest convenient date; and what was the comparable figure for 1958.

Mr. J. Rodgers

Hire-purchase debt at the end of January, 1960, is estimated to have been £873 million, compared with £452 million at the end of January, 1958.

Mr. Lipton

Has not this enormous and continually increasing hire-purchase debt been one of the main causes of our present inflation, which has forced the Government to knock the bottom out of the gilt-edged market? When the Prime Minister said, "You have never had it so good," did he imply that it would be on a "never-never" basis?

Mr. Rodgers

The increase this year is expected to be much less than it was last year. I would point out to the hon. Member that the amount per capita of hire-purchase debt is very much smaller here than it is in the United States.