§ 44. Mr. John H. Osborn
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will tabulate Government loans or loans from outside agencies to nationalised industries whose repayments have been accelerated in order to reduce the public sector borrowing requirement; and if he will assess the consequence of this on prices to the consumer.
§ Mr. Brittan
The nationalised industries' net ability to repay debt depends on the extent to which their internal resources are greater than the approved investment programmes. Internal resources are determined by tariff levels which should be set so as to achieve the industries' financial targets. If in these circumstances an industry generates funds which are available for net debt repayment the extent to which they are devoted to loan repayments or alternative financial uses will not normally affect either the PSBR or the prices paid by consumers.