HC Deb 28 January 1969 vol 776 cc1085-6
9. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the value in real terms at the present time of £100 saved in 1916, in 1938, in 1950 and in 1960, respectively; and if he will introduce a cost-of-living bond whose value and interest return will be related to real money values through the retail price index.

Mr. Diamond

Without taking account of any capital gains or losses or interest the respective values of £100 saved would be about £25, £27, £56 and £77. The answer to the second part of the question is, "No, Sir".

Mr. Roberts

Quite apart from the question of the need for wealth taxation, does my right hon. Friend agree that there is also a short-term need to help the small saver, that the small saver is discouraged from saving by the strong fall in the value of money over the last 50 years, and that one of the best ways of helping small savers would be to introduce a cost-of-living bond with a provision for a limited holding, which would avoid some of the problems of transfer?

Mr. Diamond

I understand my hon. Friend's point. I refer him to the speech which my right hon. Friend made at Budget time, which dealt with this very question.

Sir G. Nabarro

Do not the figures quoted by the junior Minister on the Treasury Bench in answer to this Question demonstrate that savings over the years continuously lose their value? Is not this a major contributory reason to the poor performance of National Savings last year?

Mr. Diamond

I do not accept what the hon. Gentleman is trying to demonstrate. The totals in National Savings at the end of last year amounted to £8,534 million.

Mr. Higgins

Does the Chief Secretary believe that the imposition of a wealth tax would increase or decrease total savings?

Mr. Diamond

The hon. Gentleman is a little behind the times. That was the last Question.