§ Mr. Peter Walker
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the £140 million expected to be spent in 1976–77 as a result of the announcement made by him on 12th February, how much will be met by the lower unemployment and social security benefits and higher tax receipts and national insurance contributions; and if he will give the figures separately for each of these four items.
§ Mr. Joel Barnett
The figure given of the net cost to the public finance of the measures was a statistical calculation based on a number of assumptions. The ultimate offsets to the gross cost will depend on the net number of jobs actually created, allowing for displacement effects, and on the entitlement to unemployment benefit and the tax position of the particular individuals affected. The estimation of net Exchequer cost, and in particular of the individual factors concerned are subject to a wide margin of error.