HC Deb 19 February 1964 vol 689 cc217-8W
Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that Britain's gold and currency reserves in January, 1964, rose by only £6,000,000 to a total of £955 million, whereas in January, 1963, the total reserves stood at £1,023 million and the reserves during the months of January, 1963, rose by £21 million; whether he will give the reasons for these figures for 1964 compared with 1963; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. M. Macmillan

My right hon. Friend is aware of these figures, but does

the percentage rise or fall for each calendar or financial year from 1951 to date of general taxation, personal Income Tax, company tax, Purchase Tax, wines, spirits, and cigarette and tobacco taxation, road licence taxation, radio and television licence taxation, oil and fuel taxation, sweets and ice-cream taxation, on the basis of 1951 being equal to 100.

Mr. Green

The table below shows the net receipts of tax by the central Government in index form, receipts in 1951 being taken as equal to 100. Complete figures for 1963 are not yet available and those shown for some items are provisional.

not make the same inference from them. The reserves fluctuate from month to month and do not necessarily reflect the basic balance of payments of the United Kingdom. As my right hon. Friend made cleat in his Budget speech Last year, some deterioration in the balance of payments is likely to accompany the rapid expansion of our economy. The incidence of this is bound to be uneven; figures for a single month, therefore, whether they relate to the movement of the reserves or to any trade balance, are not reliable evidence of the extent to which such a movement is taking place.