The truth is that the past four Budgets have included innumerable measures that have been exclusively of benefit to the better off in society, and they all need reversing. The Government have done immeasurable damage to the British economy. They have looted its wealth to fund the better off. The Government
have gone to great lengths to try to conceal the damage they have done to the economy and to our prospects of economic expansion. Even in the depression of the 1930s the British economy progressed more than it has done under this … Government. Their favourite but totally false excuse is that their appalling record is all to the oil crisis and the world-wide economic depression. Yet since the oil crisis, despite our coal, and gas and oil from the North Sea, prices and unemployment in Britain have risen by more than in almost any other major industrialised country. And output has risen by less. With much poorer energy supplies than Britain, the others have nonetheless done much better".
They found that possible because they did not have our Government and did not have to suffer from their mistakes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] My hon. Friends acclaim the words that I have just uttered. They are words that we can use justifiably against the Government. They appeared in the manifesto that the Conservative party published at the time of the 1979 general election. It seems that the accusations that it levelled in that document are just as accurate and applicable now. The manifesto stated:
We shall cut income tax at all levels to reward hard work, responsibility and success; tackle the poverty trap; encourage saving and the wider ownership of property; simplify taxes".