In addition to these new gilt issues, we are improving the terms offered to the small saver on National Savings. There will be a new savings certificate, with a value of £5 rising to £7 over four years. These are generous terms related to present interest rates and the certificate will be on sale only for a limited period, from its issue in December to the end of March. The maximum holding will be limited to £1,500.
The rates of interest paid on National Savings Bank accounts will also be increased from 1st January 1977. The rate on ordinary accounts will be increased from 4 per cent. to 5 per cent. and on investment accounts from 9 per cent. to 10 per cent. In next year's Finance Bill I shall be introducing provision to make a corresponding increase in the amount of tax-free interest on National Savings Bank ordinary accounts and Trustee Savings Bank Ordinary Departments from the first £40 to the first £50.
These are important improvements for the National Savings Movement. They should both make a useful contribution to financing the PSBR and enable the small saver to share in the benefit from the general rise in interest rates in recent months.