HC Deb 17 May 1966 vol 728 cc1096-7
6. Mr. Iremonger

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total amount of post-war credits outstanding now; and what considerations govern his decision as to whether or not to repay them at any given time.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. James Callaghan)

About £217 million, plus £38 million in respect of accrued interest. Changes in the conditions of repayment are made in the light of the general economic situation.

Mr. Iremonger

Will the right hon. Gentleman recognise that he always has a choice to make when he is able to increase purchasing power, particularly in regard to those to whom he should give money, and will he now consider giving a really higher priority to those people who have been promised it by successive Governments?

Mr. Callaghan

Yes, Sir, but, without reverting to the last Question, it is very difficult both to reduce taxation and increase expenditure, as I spent some time explaining to right hon. Gentlemen opposite during the General Election.

Mr. Bessell

Would the right hon. Gentleman say whether he will consider special cases; people who are suffering particular hardship and to whom repayment would give special benefit?

Mr. Callaghan

Yes, Sir. There is a wide variety of cases which can be met where hardship arises. They are well understood, and I will gladly see to it that the hon. Gentleman gets a copy of the circular explaining them, which is available to everybody.