§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyneasked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the ratio of public expenditure, including transfer payments and debt interest, to gross domestic product in the financial years 1964–65, 1970–71, 1971–72, and 1972–73; and what estimate he has made of the corresponding figure for 1973–74.

§ Mr. Patrick JenkinTotal public expenditure expressed as a percentage of gross domestic product was as follows:

Per cent. 1964–65 43.2 1970–71 50.3 1971–72 49.9 1972–73 50.8 The percentage for 1973–74 is unlikely to differ significantly from that for 1972–73, although the estimate at this stage suggests that there might be a small reduction.

176Win the White Paper "Public Expenditure for 1976–77", Command Paper No. 5178, based on the assumption that the future rate of growth of the economy would be the same as it has been on average in recent years.

§ Mr. Patrick JenkinThe Government do not accept that the proposed hypothetical base has any special significance for judgments concerning the future; nor can they undertake to provide further versions of Table 1.2 in Cmnd. 5178. However, the following table illustrates the implications of the public expenditure programmes of Cmnd. 5178 if GDP were to grow over the period from 1971 to 1977 at the same rate on average as it grew over the immediately preceding 10 years, 1960–70. (All the definitions affecting the table are consistent with those used in Cmnd. 5178.)