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Public Sector Debt

Volume 885: debated on Monday 3 February 1975

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the size per head of population of public sector debt in Great Britain, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, the United States of America, Japan and Sweden in the latest year for which the information is available, expressed in £ sterling.

Information on public sector debt is not available from international sources. The following estimates of central Government debt per head have been derived from national statistical publications and from population estimates included in the OECD's "Main Economic Indicators" (November 1974 issue). The table contains estimates of national debt for the United Kingdom as no separate figures are available for Great Britain.

ESTIMATES OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DEBT PER HEAD IN £ STERLING OR STERLING EQUIVALENT
Central Government debt outstanding per head at end-March 1974
United Kingdom720
France150
West Germany290
Belgium910
Netherlands450
Italy250
USA960
Japan180
Sweden610
Debt is shown at nominal values, converted into sterling at market rates of exchange. It should be noted that the figures are affected by differences in the pattern of financing of local authorities and public trading enterprises, by the inclusion of official holdings of debt and by inclusion or otherwise of Government-controlled credit institutions. Comparison between countries therefore requires great caution.