HC Deb 26 November 1968 vol 774 cc273-4
6. Mr. Biffen

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated percentage of the gross domestic product represented by personal savings at the latest available date for the curret year; and how this compares with the estimated percentage for the corresponding period in the previous year.

Mr. Harold Lever

On a seasonally adjusted basis, it is estimated that personal saving represented 6.1 per cent. of gross domestic product at current factor cost in the first half of 1968. This compares with 6.2 per cent. in the same period of 1967

Mr. Biffen

Does not the decline, modest though it be, indicate that the public prudently felt that the money in their pocket would be diminished as a consequence of devaluation, and does the Financial Secretary imagine that as a result of the Government's policies announced over the past few days personal savings as a percentage of total personal income will rise?

Mr. Lever

The inferences drawn on the basis of six months' experience in two years seem to me somewhat exaggerated.

Mr. William Hamilton

Can my hon. Friend hold out any hope of finding a new incentive to saving which does not involve a simple transfer from one kind of saving to another?

Mr. Lever

We are earnestly engaged on that task.