HC Deb 16 February 1922 vol 150 cc1255-6W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the amount of Supplementary Estimates voted and to be voted during the present financial year; what are the estimated savings, and what will be the estimated excess ordinary expenditure over and above the Budget Estimate of £974,000,000; and whether he anticipates that the estimated extraordinary expenditure of £65,000,000 will be approximately adhered to?


I should have preferred to deal with this matter after the close of the financial year when actual results are available. The right hon. Gentleman will understand that any figures given at the present stage can only be approximate Estimates.

The original Budget Estimates provided for £668,456,000 for Supply Services, in addition to which it was indicated that out of the total estimated surplus of £176,922,000 the excess over about £80,000,000, namely, £97,000,000, would be required for Supplementary Estimates in connection with liabilities then known to be impending, on which at the time of the Budget no precise figure could be put. The total original Budget anticipations for Supply Services expenditure were therefore, £765,456,000; against this approximate figure of £97,000,000 referred to above, the Supplementary Estimates required will probably amount to £118,120,000, made up of £106,396,000 voted by the House down to the end of December, 1921, £6,724,000, the amount of the Civil Supplementary Estimates just presented, and approximately £5,000,000 still to be presented for Army services. The increase shown was due partly to the prolongation of the coal stoppage and partly to the payment made to the agricultural industry under the Corn Production Acts (Repeal Act), 1921.

On the basis of these figures the total Supply voted will be £786,576,000, an excess over the Budget provision of £21,120,000.

On the other hand the actual issues in respect of these Estimates are likely to be some £40,000,000 less than the Estimates.

The net result, so far as can at present be foreseen, will therefore be an actual issue in respect of Supply Services of about £745,000,000, or some £20,000,000 less than the original Budget anticipations.

It is not possible to give figures allocating this saving between ordinary and special expenditure any more than it was possible at the time of the Budget to allocate the extra provision of £97,000,000 between those two accounts. Generally speaking there will be a considerable excess on special (non-recurrent) items, and a large saving on ordinary (permanent) items.