HC Deb 14 April 1964 vol 693 cc269-70

Before explaining how I intend to raise the additional revenue, I wish to tell the Committee how I propose to encourage savings.

I propose to increase the limit on holdings of the current issue of National Savings Certificates from £300 to £600, and the limit on holdings of Premium Bonds from £800 to £1,000.

I also propose to introduce this year a new bond, called the National Development Bond. This will take the place of Defence Bonds. The new bond will come on sale on 15th May: it will have a life of five years, will carry a rate of interest of 5 per cent. per annum and a bonus on maturity of £2 per cent., and will be encashable at par on one month's notice. Holders of Defence Bonds maturing on 1st July, to whom a conversion offer of 4½ per cent. Defence Bonds has recently been made, will be given an opportunity to convert into the new bonds if they prefer. I am sure—and I know the views of the National Savings Movement on this—that this new bond is in line with current needs, and I have every confidence that it will prove an attractive security with a wide appeal.

In addition, I believe that it should be possible to offer through the National Savings Movement some form of contractual savings scheme which would give an incentive for sustained saving over a period of years. In consultation with the leaders of the National Savings Movement, I am putting in hand a detailed study of this idea aimed at devising a practical and workable scheme.

In these ways, I aim to encourage the National Savings Movement in its very valuable work. The increase in the total amount standing invested in National Savings last year was again over £300 million, and for the first time the total passed £8,000 million. This impressive figure is a tribute to the efforts of the many voluntary workers in the movement, and to the leadership of that almost legendary figure, Lord Mackintosh, and of Mr. Archer, the able and devoted Chairman of the Scottish Savings Committee.