Sources of Finance

– in the House of Commons on 25th April 1944.

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How far may we expect to finance our expenditure in 1944–45 from the sources of borrowing to which I referred in my review of the past year? Any estimate of overseas disinvestment must be very precarious, and I propose to put it at practically the same figure as for the calendar year 1943, namely, £650,000,000. That means that the amount of expenditure requiring finance at home will be £5,287,000,000. Of that figure revenue will cover £3,102,000,000. I expect about £300,000,000 to be available from extra-Budgetary funds, local authority surpluses, and war damage, and war risk payments in the hands of the public. As regards impersonal savings, the excess of tax liabilities over payments will probably show a further fall and I am assuming that gross impersonal savings will probably amount to about £225,000,000. It is very difficult to estimate what the total of personal savings is likely to be, but I will assume that it can be put at the perhaps conservative figure of £1,550,000,000. On that basis, the residue required for domestic finance would amount to £110,000,000. For technical reasons, explained in the National Income White Paper; the estimates of the residue in 1942 and 1943 have now been reduced below those previously given, but the figure of £110,000,000 which I have just quoted for 1944 is a very moderate and satisfactory figure, by comparison with the revised totals for recent years.