HL Deb 30 April 1975 vol 359 cc1329-30WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the total of overseas borrowings during the past financial year by (a) the Government and (b) all other persons in the United Kingdom; and what is the "service" cost of such Government borrowing; and what would such sum represent expressed in pence on income tax.


Although some figures for the categories specified are available on a financial year basis, total figures are at present available only for the calendar year 1974. The only borrowing by Her Majesty's Government in 1974 took the form of drawings equivalent to £644 million on the 2.5 billion dollar loan. Other United Kingdom borrowers, comprising the nationalised industries, local authorities and private sector borrowers, took loans equivalent to some £1,750 million, of which the public sector proportion was about 70 per cent. It is not possible to specify the precise annual servicing cost of the Government loan because different tranches have been taken for different periods and at differing interest rates. In broad terms, however, the cost of servicing that portion of the loan drawn in 1974, at present interest rates, would amount to some £60 million per annum—this is equivalent to the annual yield from an increase in the basic rate of income tax of under one-sixth of one penny at 1975–76 income levels.