§ 25. Mr. Ridley
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the circumstances under which he would be prepared to increase the cash limit for a block of expenditure.
§ Mr. Dell
Cash limits will not normally be revised in the course of the year, unless the Government decide to change the level of provision of a particular service. Spending Departments and authorities714W will have to take full account, within these limits, of changing pay and price levels. If the rate of inflation were to turn out substantially higher than that allowed for in the cash limits the Government would have to take stock of the position in the light of all the circumstances of the time. This is not, however, a situation which the Government envisage at present, nor, if it were to arise, should their response be taken for granted.
§ Mr. Healey
The Government's recently published plans for total public expenditure to 1979–80 show an annual average increase in volume terms between 1973–74 and 1977–78 of 3.5 per cent. The corresponding increase between 1969–70 and 1973–74 was 3.7 per cent.