Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation
Mr Ivan Lewis (Bury South, Labour)
I shall give way in a minute.
This Government chose to make the payment of national debt central to their economic strategy. Yes, we chose to stay within tight spending limits, but that did not mean that we did not spend considerably more in the first two years of the Parliament on health and education—we did. [HON. MEMBERS: "No you did not."] Yes we did. However, the overall Government spend stayed within previous limits. It is interesting that the Conservative party says that that is the best example of our continuing its economic policies, yet the right hon. Member for Huntingdon said that the Conservatives would not have done so had they been in government post 1997.