§ Mr. Arbuthnot
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for the progress of personal equity plans.
§ Mr. Maude
I am pleased to say that PEPs continue to be very successful. In the 15 months to March 1990 a total of 580,000 plans were taken out, with initial investment of £1,600 million. The provisional figures for the first two quarters of 1990–91 show that a high level of enthusiasm for PEPs continues, with a further 200,000 plans taken out and £600 million invested. The average amount invested remains approximately £3,000.
The total number of plans taken out since PEPs started is now nearly 1.2 million. The total subscribed—ignoring investment growth—is almost £3 billion.
The cost of the income tax relief is estimated at £20 million for 1989–90 and £45 million for 1990–91.