§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what public assets have been sold off by the Government since June 1979; and what was the percentage proportion of the sales in each case to private individuals.
§ Mr. Moore
An analysis of those disposals attributed to the special sales of assets programme is published annually in the public expenditure White Paper. A breakdown of sales and receipts for 1979–80 and 1980–81 is given in table 4.8 of Cmnd. 8494, and for 1981–82 and 1982–83 in tables 4.8A and 4.8B of Cmnd. 9143. Major receipts to date in 1983–84 have been as follows:
Item Receipts £ million (cash) Further sale of shares in British Petroleum 540 Further sale of shares in Cable and Wireless 262 Sale of shares in Britoil (2nd instalment) 293
A detailed analysis of special asset sales in 1983–84 will be published in due course. In addition, sales of commercial and industrial assets, land and dwellings by new town corporations, the Commission for the New Towns, local authorities, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) have taken place since 1979 with net receipts totalling some £5 billion.
Information on the percentage proportion of each sale to private individuals is not available. Certain sales—for 591W example, the sale of dwellings — were entirely to individuals. It is our policy to encourage participation by private individuals in individual share sales wherever this is appropriate.