§ Mr. Ground
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the national debt, including foreign currency debt but excluding official holdings, outstanding at the end of March in each of the years 1987 and 1988, as a percentage of gross domestic product, average measure, at current market prices centred on 31 March.
§ Mr. Lilley
The national debt, including foreign currency debt but excluding official holdings stood at £168.2 billion (41.6 per cent. of GDP) at end-March 1987 and at £177.9 billion (40.1 per cent. of GDP) at end-March 1988. Further details are given in the November 1988Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, which also gives estimates of net public sector debt which is nowadays a more useful concept than the national debt.