HC Deb 27 July 1971 vol 822 cc200-1
21. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the percentage increase in public spending, and of the share of public expenditure in gross domestic product at factor cost in the current financial year.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

Allowing for the additions to public expenditure in 1971–72 announced since the Budget estimates, the increase is 2.5 per cent. at constant prices, including the relative price effect, over the provisional outturn for 1970–71. This total is equivalent in size to about 51 per cent. of estimated gross domestic product at factor cost.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

What additions will result from the public sector spending programmes announced before 19th July and from the measures announced on 19th July? Will my hon. Friend tell the House whether it remains Government policy to ensure that the proportion of the nation's resources preempted by the public sector shall be reduced?

Mr. Macmillan

My hon. Friend will be aware that some of the announced increases in public expenditure have been for limited purposes and, to some extent, limited periods. The Government's purpose remains to reduce the proportion which is pre-empted by the public sector.