§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the current annual cost of interest payments on foreign currency borrowing by the public sector in support of the balance of payments.
§ Mr. Dell
It is not possible to estimate precisely the amounts payable in interest since a large part of the borrowing is on floating rate terms. At present rates, interest payments on foreign currency loans raised by nationalised industries and local authorities for domestic purposes would amount to some $480 million a year up to 1977. This figure is higher than the $375 million quoted on 1st April because of recent borrowing by the public sector as well as increased interest rates.