asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the average over-all rate per cent. of interest upon the whole of the nominal amount of the National Debt, including the floating debt and the debt to the United States of America, and taking into account the relief in debt-service cost obtained recently by the replacing of the 4 per cent. tax-free loan by 4 per cent loan subject to tax?
The interest charge in the current year as estimated in the Budget represents almost precisely 4 per cent. on the total nominal deadweight debt on 31st March, 1930. The saving referred to in the question takes the form of an addition to Income Tax revenue and not of a reduction in debt charges. The saving is roughly £675,000 per annum.
May we therefore assume that the total over-all average cost of the interest on the whole of the nominal amount of the National Debt is somewhere slightly less than 4 per cent.
That is precisely what I said.
Does the saving in the change from 4 per cent. tax-free loan to 4 per cent. loan subject to tax alter that figure by any material amount?
Really, the hon. Member should listen. I gave an answer to that point also, and I pointed out that the change is from tax-free interest to interest liable to tax. The saving, therefore, is not a reduction in Debt charges, but an addition to Income Tax revenue, and amounts to £675,000 a year.