HC Deb 23 April 1951 vol 487 cc22-3W
Mr. Gibson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the total amount put to repayment of the National Debt in each year since 1945; and what is the reduction in interest charges, each year, on the National Debt.

Mr. Gaitskell

In the years 1945–46 and 1946–47 there were Budget deficits of £2,200 million and £569 million respectively, and after allowing for "below the line" transactions the net borrowings in those years were £2,053 million and £1,884 million respectively. In the four years from 1947–48 to 1950–51, the Budget surpluses of £635 million, £831 million, £549 million and £720 million were applied in debt redemption, but in those years transactions "below the line," as shown in the published accounts, resulted in net borrowings in the years 1947–48 and 1950–51 of £3 million and £48 million respectively and net sums applied in debt redemption in the years 1948–49 and 1949–50 of £484 million and £1 million. Most of the "below the line" expenditure is, of course, covered by assets.

Interest of the National Debt charged against revenue increased in the years 1945–46, 1946–47 and 1947–48 by £40 million, £43 million and £5 million respectively. It decreased by £25 million in 1948–49, by a further £5 million in 1949–50 and by a further £3 million in 1950–51. Particulars of debt transactions and of interest payments in each of the years up to 1949–50 are shown in the National Debt return (Cmd. 8058).