HC Deb 25 April 1972 vol 835 cc1266-7
21. Sir A. Meyer

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the additional purchasing power available in Wales as a result of his Budget measures.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Wales will gain a full share of the additional purchasing power injected into the economy in 1972–73 as a result of the £1,200 million tax cuts in the Budget. Most of the 900,000 Welsh wage and salary earners will find their income increased by £1 per week as a result of the increase in the personal allowances; and the cuts in purchase tax will further raise real purchasing power by reducing prices.

Sir A. Meyer

Would my hon. Friend agree that this is a factor which, coupled with the extensive pool of unused capacity in Wales, means that there is now a unique opportunity for industrialists to expand profitably?

Mr. Jenkin

I agree entirely with what my hon. Friend says.

Mr. Ellis

How does the hon. Gentleman reconcile the target growth rate set by the Chancellor in the Budget when he made available extra purchasing power with the 6 per cent. growth rate spoken of by the Welsh Council in its report some six weeks ago as being imperative if unemployment in Wales was to be reduced to a satisfactory figure within a reasonable period of time?

Mr. Jenkin

I am aware of the view put forward by the Welsh Council which is still being studied by members of the Government.