HC Deb 02 April 1968 vol 762 c151
8. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, as a step to cut public and private expenditure, he will postpone the date on which decimalisation comes into operation until 1975; and what estimates he had made of the savings which would result in 1968, 1969, and 1970 from such a postponement.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Diamond)

No, Sir. Decimalisation is well advanced and because of the real economic benefits which will accrue it is in the best interests of the country as a whole to proceed as planned. The information sought on estimated savings from postponement is not available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost and effort.

Mr. Roberts

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of us who support decimalisation believe that when Government economies are being made this should be the first thing to go, because it is unproductive and the savings involved would dwarf some of those already made in social welfare?

Mr. Diamond

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for having in the first part of his question expressed support for the proposal. I share with him anxiety about unnecessary expenditure. I even share that anxiety about expenditure which might have been involved in reducing the pensionable age for men down to 60.