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Public Expenditure

Volume 982: debated on Thursday 17 April 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, excluding sales of assets and the raising of revenue through raising charges or increasing charges for services at rates higher than the rate of inflation, what savings in public expenditure at constant prices both in money terms and as a percentage of total public expenditure he anticipates for the financial year 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83 and 1983–84 against the outturn for 1978–79.

The table below shows the planning total after shortfall excluding all identifiable sales of assets and receipts from charges, and all borrowing by the nationalised industries. (The last item is excluded because of the difficulty of isolating the effect on the nationalised industries' external financing requirements of increases in their charges.) The figures do not, however, represent full gross totals, since some expenditure statistics—for example from local authorities on current account—are collected net.It is not possible to give corresponding totals for the years 1981–82 to 1983–84 because decisions have not yet been taken in all cases on the allocation of expenditure within the main programmes.The totals for 1979–80 and 1980–81 are greater than that for 1978–79, principally because sales of assets are excluded. As my right hon. Friend said in his Budget Statement on 12 June 1979, sales of State-owned assets to the private sector help the short-term reduction of the PSBR, given the difficulty of cutting back public sector spending programmes quickly; the sales also promote the widest possible participation by the people in the ownership of British industry.

£million 1979 surrey prices

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for the last five and the next four years, what are the estimates at constant prices of Government revenue expenditure adjusted for price increases different from the rate of inflation.

The figures below show current expenditure on programmes in cost terms from 1974–75 to 1980–81 consistent with table 5·12 of Cmnd 7841. They allow for the relative price effect. Table 5·12 does not extend beyond 1980–81. The Government have not yet taken decisions on the detailed composition of the expenditure programmes in the later years, and in particular no decision has been taken on the composition of the housing programme for these years.

£ million at 1978–79 prices