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Overseas Assets

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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15.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give his latest estimate of the United Kingdom's net assets overseas.

At the end of 1986 the United Kingdom's net assets overseas were estimated at £114 billion.

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that that is a huge increase in recent years? Does he agree that the net income from those assets is highly beneficial to our economy? Does not all this underline the success of the previous Chancellor's decision eight years ago to abolish exchange controls?

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. He is right in both his propositions. The net income in the first three quarters of the present year amounted to £5·4 billion, and the abolition of exchange controls was wholly welcome and beneficial.