§ 2. Mr. Ridley
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what has been the percentage growth in public consumption and private consumption, respectively, between 1964 and the latest convenient date.
The Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Mr. Alan Williams)
Between 1964 and 1968, public consumption in real terms grew by 2.8 per cent. a year and private consumption by 1.9 per cent. a year.
§ Mr. Ridley
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these figures explain why the public are a little apprehensive about the phrase in "The Task Ahead" which blames private consumption for all our economic troubles?
The hon. Gentleman should be aware that during the 12 months following devaluation, comparing the last quarter of 1967 with the last quarter of 1968, whereas private consumption rose by 1 per cent. public consumption fell by 1.2 per cent.