Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Public Corporations (Borrowing) on 28th March 1988.
Mr. Gordon Brown To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will break down the figure of £1.2 billion for public corporations’ market and overseas borrowing given in the 1988 Financial Statement and Budget Report into its component parts in order to account for the difference between this figure and the figure of £0.8 billion given in table 6.4 of Cmd. 288-I.
Mr. Major There are coverage and measurement differences between the figures for public corporations’ market and overseas borrowing in Cm. 288 and the Financial Statement and Budget Report. The figure of -£1.2 billion shown in the 1988 Financial Statement and Budget Report relates to the market and overseas borrowing of all public corporations as measured for the public sector borrowing requirement. It is not possible to break this down into estimates for individual industries. The figure of -£0.8 billion shown in table 6.4 of Cm. 288-I relates to the figures included in the planning total and does not therefore include the market and overseas borrowing of all public corporations as explained in chapter 4 of Cm. 288-I. The major reason for the change between Cm. 288-I and the FSBR arises from nationalised industries switching their net borrowing from the market to Government. In part this reflects the early repayment of expensive public sector foreign currency debt given the high level of the official reserves and the removal of any interest rate benefit on new overseas borrowing under the official exchange cover scheme.