HC Deb 14 December 1971 vol 828 c233
1. Captain W. Elliot

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to remove the requirement of at least £50 in an ordinary department account before it is possible to open a National Savings Bank investment account.

The Minister of State, Treasury (Mr. Terence Higgins)

As usual my right hon. Friend will be reviewing the terms of National Savings before the next Budget.

Captain Elliot

Is my hon. Friend aware that a constituent of mine wished to invest £6,000 in a National Savings Bank investment account and was told that he could not do so unless he had £50 in an ordinary department account? His rather natural reaction was not to invest anything. Could not my hon. Friend try to introduce some flexibility into these arrangements in order to encourage National Savings?

Mr. Higgins

My hon. and gallant Friend may recall that both he and I served on a Standing Committee concerning trustee savings banks in 1967, when this issue was debated in the context of the trustee savings banks. There are arguments both ways, but I will ensure that my right hon. Friend takes into account the kind of case which my hon. and gallant Friend has raised.

Mr. Joel Barnett

Would the hon. Gentleman clarify the Government's policy? Do they want the public to spend or to save?

Mr. Higgins

That is a separate question. Our policy is designed to ensure that people have more both to spend and to save.