Perhaps many of your readers will agree with me that confidence and trust are two of the most critical factors for people making financial plans and saving for their future. In this regard, I am delighted that we have now finally repaid our Second World War debt to the US.
I also note that this debt was repaid six years late as it was due to be repaid in 50 annual payments starting in 1950.
The Government says that “because National Savings and Investments is backed by HM Treasury, you can rest assured that any money you invest with us is 100 per cent secure.”
If this is the case, then perhaps, in light of the debt repayment, the Government would be so good as to go some way to restoring confidence by reinstating the full coupon on war bonds and war loans and to set a redemption date. They did, after all, say that war bonds and war loans would be redeemed “when the situation returned to normal”.
There is 1.9bn of 3.5 per cent war loan in issue, mostly bought and held by patriotic, loyal, citizens now in their old age, who must deserve better treatment than this.
Remember, too, that the coupon of 3.5 per cent is in fact really only about 1.75 per cent due to the sterling devaluations over the last 60 years. Is this any way to treat those who served their country in its darkest hours, many of whom put their own lives on the line or lost relatives in that tremendous struggle for freedom and the British way of life? I think not.