HC Deb 15 June 1971 vol 819 cc224-5
26. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total amount of post-war credits still due to be repaid; and by what date he expects the outstanding repayments to be made.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

The amount of post-war credits outstanding at 30th April, 1971, is estimated to be £192 million, including £47½ million accrued interest. I cannot forecast when repayment will be completed.

Mr. Dempsey

Does the Minister agree that since these credits were deducted the purchasing power of the pound has fallen enormously and that if they are not repaid now they will continue to erode? Is it not time there was some morality in the Government's mind to repay to the rightful owners moneys compulsorily taken at that time?

Mr. Macmillan

Successive Governments have decided to do their best to repay post-war credits as soon as possible. At the moment they are being repaid at the rate of £12 million to £13 million a year, plus interest of £4 million.

Mr. Jessel

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that if at any time in future it seems right to put more purchasing power into the economy, the early repayment of post-war credits would be a good way of doing it, because a large proportion of holders are elderly people who are not very well off and a large proportion of the sums involved would then be spent?

Mr. Macmillan

I am sure that my right hon. Friend heard my hon. Friend's remarks and will bear them in mind.