§ Mr. Gould
Does the failure to fund the borrowing requirement during the past three months signify a welcome conversion of the Treasury to a more relaxed monetary policy, or is it yet another instance of the Chancellor and the money markets being at cross 1351 purposes? If the latter, when must we expect the inevitable emergence of another Budget, which will impose further cuts on public expenditure?
§ Mr. Stewart
It is neither of those two things. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman, who is a student of these matters, will know that the PSBR is very heavily front-end loaded this year for normal seasonal reasons, but more particularly because of the withdrawal of postponed accounting for VAT on imports in the autumn. Were the Government to overfund the full extent of the PSBR in the early months of this year, it would produce very heavy distortions in money markets.
§ Mr. Allan Rogers
Will the Economic Secretary take the opportunity—if not now, later—to correct two statements made by his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he misled the House earlier during Question Time?