HC Deb 11 July 1974 vol 876 cc1537-8
11. Mr. Rost

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make proposals designed to increase investors' confidence in the capital markets.

Dr. Gilbert

The Government's economic policies have always been directed towards providing a stable fiscal and monetary framework within which confidence can be strengthened, including confidence as it affects investors in the capital markets.

Mr. Rost

If the Chancellor wants to stop the slump in savings and investment and restore confidence in industry should he not persuade the Prime Minister to sack the Secretary of State for Industry and then introduce a Budget which will reverse the penal anti-business measures in his last Budget?

Dr. Gilbert

It would probably be as well if the hon. Gentleman addressed his remarks personally to the Prime Minister. We are perfectly confident that our policies will have the success we always intended.

Mr. John Ellis

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are many thousands of people who do not want to become investors or capitalists so that they may exist on the fruits of other people's labours, but who simply want the value of the money they earn to be protected? Will he consider a system of saving whereby interest rates may be minimal but the saver has money repaid at the value it was when it was invested? He would find that there were many honest people who would like to invest in this way.

Dr. Gilbert

I thank my hon. Friend for his extremely constructive suggestion. I am sure that he will be aware that there are considerable problems in trying to index any medium of savings. I was glad to note the approval which greeted my hon. Friend's suggestion for protecting the value of money and to observe that it ranks high in the priorities of the Conservative Party—particularly bearing in mind its record in the past four years.