HC Deb 22 November 1979 vol 974 cc332-3W
Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the percentage change in the volume of public expenditure before shortfall and special sales of assets between the provisional outturn in 1978–79 and the expected out-turn in 1979–80, according to Cmnd. 7746; and what was the corresponding percentage change forecast between the estimated outturn in 1978–79 and planned expenditure in 1979–80, according to Cmnd. 7439.

Mr. Biffen

[pursuant to his reply, 14 November 1979, c. 627]: The first figure asked for is 4 per cent. But I would remind my hon. Friend that this definition of public expenditure excludes significant planned reductions between 1978–79 and 1979–80. The planned fall in borrowing by nationalised industries from sources other than the Government between these years is equivalent to over 1.3 per cent. of public expenditure. This is not allowed for in the change requested. The planned special sales of assets of £1 billion in 1979–80 are also excluded, and the general allowance for shortfall, as specified in the question.

The percentage from Cmnd. 7439, comparable with the figure of 4 per cent. above, is 5.2 per cent. This is derived from the figures in Cmnd. 7439, but adjusted for the definitional changes mentioned on page 12 of Cmnd. 7746.