HC Deb 04 February 1977 vol 925 cc481-2W
Mr. Ridley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will undertake to publish a table of growth and use of resources in Part II of Command Paper No. 6721; whether that table will cover the full quinquennium as in past public expenditure White Papers; whether he will state his reasons for any changes which he is intending to introduce in the presentation of this table; and whether he envisages that the traditional presentations of the growth and use of resources should be adhered to in future years.

Mr. Joel Barnett

It would not be relevant to publish a growth and use of resources table in Part II of Cmnd. 6721. The Government's expenditure plans are constrained not so much by the overall availability of resources as by the need for a period of adjustment in the economy in which resources are moved into industrial investment and the balance of payments. The economic background to public spending up to 1979 was provided in the economic forecast published on 15th December 1976 under the Industry Act and in the Letter of Intent to the IMF, and is discussed further in Part I of Cmnd. 6721. The question of whether a resources table should be presented in future years will be considered nearer the time.