§ Mr. David Mitchell
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is the 156W additional sum per annum per head of population required to service the additional national debt incurred between February 1974 and 5th April 1978;
(2) what is the amount per head of population by which the national debt has risen between February 1974 and 5th April 1978.
§ Mr. Denzil Davies
Statistics of the national debt are calculated only in respect of 31st March each year. The nominal value of the total debt—including foreign currency debt—per head of population was £720 at 31st March 1974 and is provisionally estimated to have been £1,410 at 31st March 1978. The increase in real terms, after allowing for the charge in the interim purchasing power of the pound between March 1974 and March 1978, was about £35 at March 1974 prices.
Figures showing the total cost of servicing the national debt are available from published sources, for example Financial Statistics Table 3.1. However, it is not possible to calculate the cost of servicing the addtional debt incurred between two points in time by reference to these figures. This is because they also reflect the fact that debt maturing in the intervening period has to be refinanced, usually on different terms, and the effect of this cannot be readily isolated.