HC Deb 22 October 1919 vol 120 cc44-6W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he can now state the present average daily income; if he can give the average daily national income during the first six months of the financial year; and how far this agrees with his Budget Estimate?

The Exchequer receipts for the six months ending 30th September last were £458,998,799 equivalent to £2,508,000 a day. The Budget estimate for the whole year was £1,201,100,000 which would be equivalent to £3,282,000 a day, were it the case that revenue came in throughout the year in equal daily instalments. As the House knows this assumption is incorrect. The bulk of the Income Tax is collected in the March quarter, and thus even in perfectly normal years the receipts in the first six months are much below half the total for the twelve months. As the receipts from Miscellaneous Revenue will also be paid over mainly in the second half of the year, Ibis normal tendency is accentuated this year.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now state the present average daily national expenditure; if he can give the average daily national expenditure during the first six months of the financial year; and how far this agrees with his Budget Estimate?

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the amount of the present daily national expenditure?

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present daily expenditure and what is the present daily revenue?

The average daily- expenditure (Exchequer issues and advances from the Civil Contingencies Fund unrepaid to that Fund) was £4,225,000 for the period from 1st April to 30th September and for the period from 1st October to 18th October £3,763,000. In the first period the debt charges averaged £894,000 a day. Owing to the National War Bond dividend on 1st October, of the £3,763,000 a day for October, £1,911,000 was for debt charges. The House will observe from this figure how misleading daily averages for short periods are likely to be. On the assumption that expenditure went on equally throughout the financial year the original Budget Estimate would be equivalent to a daily average of £3,920,000.

With regard to revenue, I would refer to the answer which I have just given to the hon. Member for Hornsey. I must remind the House that neither revenue nor expenditure are spread evenly over the year.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what expenditure is being incurred at the present moment in respect of contracts entered into before the conclusion of the Armistice in 1918?

I am afraid that a complete answer to this question could not be given without a wholly disproportionate amount of clerical labour, but I will circulate with the OFFICIAL REPORT in a few days' time a summary of the replies received from the principal contracting departments to which a copy of the question of the hon. Member for the Elland Division on the 18th August last was communicated, containing particulars so far as they are available.

asked the Chancellor of the Exechequer whether it is his intention to introduce another Budget this year?

No, Sir.