Mr. J. E. B. Hill:
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of personal income was saved in each of the last three years; and what steps he is taking to maintain or increase that proportion.
Personal savings are estimated to have been 9·1 per cent., 8 per cent. and 8·6 per cent. of personal disposable income in 1961, 1962 and 1963, respectively. Estimates for 1964 are not yet available. The Government are anxious to increase the level of savings, and I am at present considering a number of ideas in this field.
Will the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is vital to maintain the rising trend in savings, which has been such a feature of the last thirteen years? In considering suggestions for stimulating savings, will he be very chary of adopting any suggestions on the lines of the compulsory savings levy which, at the suggestion of one of his present advisers, was incorporated into the 1962 Budget for British Guiana, with such disastrous results?
I do not know of any proposals of this sort. Of course, certain proposals were left behind by the previous Administration, for example, for contractual savings schemes. These are being examined as well. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman would equate them with the kind of plans he has in mind.