§ Mr. Hordern
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the total borrowing requirement of central Government, and including local authorities, nationalised industries, and other public sector bodies where appropriate, in the latest available period, in absolute terms and as a proportion of gross national product in the following countries: the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Japan, France, West Germany and Italy, respectively.
§ Mr. Denzil Davies
The table below shows the estimates of the financial deficit or surplus—i.e., net acquisition of 201W financial assets—of general Government in 1973, the latest year for which comparable
Estimates of financial deficit (—) or surplus of general government £ million sterling or sterling equivalent As a percentage of GNP at market prices 1973 1974 1973 1974 United Kingdom … … … -2,520 -3,540 -3.5 -4.4 United States of America … … … 520 -2,560 0.1 -0.4 France … … … 520 n.a. 0.5 n.a. West Germany … … … 2,140 -1,470 1.5 -0.9 Italy … … … -4,480 n.a. -7.9 n.a.
"Preliminary estimates of national income and balance of payments 1969 to 1974" Cmnd. 6019 (United Kingdom); "National Accounts of OECD Countries 1962–73, Volume I" (United States, West Germany and Italy all for 1973); "Survey of Current Business" (United States for 1974); "Monthly Report of the Deutsche Bundesbank" and Statistisches Bundesamt" (West Germany for 1974) and "OECD Survey for France 1973" (France).
No information is available for Japan and the estimates for the United Kingdom for 1974 are provisional.
There are no internationally agreed definitions of "borrowing requirement" or of the public sector. The estimates in the international sources are of the financial surplus or deficit of general Government, which corresponds roughly to central Government plus local authorities, and these provide figures on as consistent a basis as possible. However, differences in the financing of public trading enter-prices in particular and the problems of converting figures expressed in foreign currencies to their equivalent in £ sterling require that comparisons between countries should be treated with caution. The figures should be taken only as a broad indication of the relative size of deficits or surpluses.