Savings Bank Deposits (Interest Rate)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th February 1953.

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Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen 12:00 am, 12th February 1953

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will permit an increase in the rate of interest paid on deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank.

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen

Does my hon. Friend realise that the rate of interest is very small on these deposits, and has remained the same for nearly 100 years? Would he not ask his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to look into the matter again as there would be an encouragement in small savings if this rate of interest could be raised to the sort of rate of interest that is expected in other quarters?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I doubt very much whether the total of small savings would be increased as a result of this sort of change. I think it is much more likely that there would be a switch into this sort of saving from some other sort. In reply to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, the fact that this has been so for 100 years seems to be no reason for abolishing it now.

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

As the Chancellor has on several occasions increased the Bank rate, can the hon. Gentleman explain why he cannot do the same for the small savers? Is it just the big bankers that the Government want to help?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

The hon. Gentleman will perhaps appreciate that these are two quite distinct matters, and that the proper concern of my right hon. Friend is to secure that these matters are arranged fairly both to the taxpayer and the saver.