Savings Ratio

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th January 2001.

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Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:00 am, 25th January 2001

On 14 December, when I asked the Economic Secretary much the same question—reported at column 792 of that day's Hansard—as my right hon. Friend has asked, the House heard what can only be described as a rather meaningless burble. Can the Chief Secretary now answer some straight questions? First, is the savings ratio, which he described as set to rise, at its lowest level for 37 years or not? Secondly, does he or does he not accept that instead of creating an endowment society, in which people save to be independent, his Chancellor's policies of proliferating means tests have destroyed the incentives to save for millions of people?