Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th October 1976.

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Photo of Mr Robert Cant Mr Robert Cant , Stoke-on-Trent Central 12:00 am, 11th October 1976

I made the point that I am not too worried about posterity. I accept the hon. Gentleman's point. I would accept it all the more readily if the managers of these funds had shown any ability to lend their money in the equity market at anything above 6·6 per cent. which I believe was the last yield figure in this sector. It is appalling that they should hold the Government to ransom in this way, refusing to lend the money to the Government until they felt that the yield on gilt edged stocks would decline. I am happy that they made a mistake a couple of weeks ago when they rushed in to buy the new loan the Government put out. I am glad that the Government broker saved the Chancellor £40 million. I hope that he gets a cut.

We have to face up to the fact that my hon. Friends below the Gangway will use this sort of ammunition increasingly in support of the proposals to nationalise these enormous funds—pensions and insurance companies in particular—if we cannot see the exercise of a little more responsibility as well as financial power, so that those who are able to do so are prepared to assist the Government rather than hold them to ransom.