Comparing twelvemonth periods ending in June, the annual rate of increase in personal saving per head of the population at 1963 prices was about 1 per cent. between 1964–65 and 1969–70. On present provisional estimates the increase between 1969–70 and 1970–71 was 8 per cent.
Would my hon. Friend not agree that this dramatic improvement is due both to Government cuts in taxation and to the feeling of confidence in the future under a Conservative Government?
I do not think the two matters have anything whatever to do with each other. My right hon. Friend has made it abundantly clear that there is no question of planning the present level of unemployment.
Is it not normally the case that an increase in savings means an increase in investment and that increased investment is exactly what we require in order to deal with the unemployment position?
Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that the substantial increase in savings reflects the great fear of many working people that by this time next week, next month, or next year, they may be out of work, and they are trying to provide for that emergency?
I do not accept that at all. As my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Trew) said in his supplementary question, it is a reflection of the confidence that people have.