HC Deb 28 January 1969 vol 776 cc1081-3
5. Mr. Grant

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to increase private savings; and if he will make a statement.

45. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on contractual savings by individual workers, and on methods to be employed generally to increase the attractiveness of personal savings.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

I am considering a number of possibilities for increasing savings, including a contractual savings scheme, but I am not yet ready to make a statement.

Mr. Grant

Is the Chancellor aware that some of us, indeed his own Financial Secretary, for years have been pressing for a new initiative in savings? If and when he brings in his contractual scheme, will he provide that there can be investment in equities, and if necessary building societies, and not just National Savings?

Mr. Jenkins

I shall certainly consider and be anxious to protect the position of building societies. Also I will consider the position of equities. I am also anxious to protect the position of the National Savings movement.

Sir G. Nabarro

Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that the relative unattractiveness of the present arrangements for National Savings could not have been more evident than in last year's results, when there was an increase of only £70 million in National Savings compared with a £330 million increase in unit trusts?

Mr. Jenkins

The hon. Gentleman is making a point diametrically opposite to that of his hon. Friend. In other words, he is asking me to favour National Savings as against equity investment.

Sir G. Nabarro

No. I am asking the right hon. Gentleman to make them more attractive.

Mr. Jenkins

The hon. Gentleman's choice of words is always interesting, but I do not think that what he has said in any way detracts from the point I was making.

Sir R. Cary

May I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether discussions are taking place between himself and the Chairman of the National Savings movement? Can he say whether the reports that have appeared in the Press about the progress of those meetings are reasonably accurate?

Mr. Jenkins

I would not like to say that I have seen all the reports which appear in the Press, let alone give an indication as to their accuracy or otherwise.