HC Deb 09 April 1948 vol 449 c36W
Sir W. Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a definition in as simple terms as possible of the terms "above the line" and "below the line" in Exchequer accounts.

Sir S. Cripps

Receipts and payments in the Exchequer Accounts are classified "above the line" when they are included in, and "below the line" when they are excluded from, revenue and expenditure as defined in Section 4 of the Sinking Fund Act, 1875.

Below the line receipts consist of sums raised by borrowing and such special receipts as are applicable to debt redemption. Payments below the line consist of issues in repayment of debt and such payments as are met from borrowed monies under specific statutory authority. Receipts applicable by statute to the payment of debt interest which would otherwise be payable out of revenue, together with the corresponding payments, are also classified below the line. All other receipts and payments are entered above the line.