Personal Savings

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th October 1971.

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Photo of Mr Peter Trew Mr Peter Trew , Dartford 12:00 am, 26th October 1971

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average annual rate of increase of personal saving at constant prices per head of population between October, 1964, and June, 1970, and from June, 1970, to the latest available date.

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

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.

Photo of Mr Peter Trew Mr Peter Trew , Dartford

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?

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

I entirely endorse my hon. Friend's comment.

Photo of Mr Joel Barnett Mr Joel Barnett , Heywood and Royton

If the Financial Secretary is taking credit for increased savings, is he prepared to take the blame for the increase in unemployment involved in the same plan?

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

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.

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

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?

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

Certainly an increase in savings is needed if increased investment is to be achieved, and increased investment is confidently expected.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

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?

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

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.