HC Deb 17 June 1981 vol 6 c367W
Mr. Hill

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is satisfied that the public sector borrowing requirement is a sufficiently acute instrument for use in the necessary control of public expenditure in the light of the fact that the inclusion in the public sector borrowing requirement of the borrowing of some nationalised industries is in some cases preventing those with genuinely profitable capital projects from putting them into effect.

Mr. Brittan

A range of factors—including projected performance in relation to the required rate of return—is taken into account in assessing the case for a particular nationalised industry investment programme and the projects within it. But the industries' financing requirements must be decided in the light of the Government's overall fiscal and monetary stance. For this reason, the Government focus on the PSBR as the measure of the financing burden imposed on the market by the public sector. Changing the aggregate used would not alter the effect of a given nationalised industry investment project—whether profitable or unprofitable—on financial markets or on monetary growth.