I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his consistency in pursuing a realistic and practical approach to the management of our economy, which has brought it into a position whereby he has withstood not only an oil crisis but a coal strike lasting a year and the recent fall in equities. It ill becomes Opposition Members to talk down our economy when everyone knows that it is one of the strongest in the Western world.
I urge my right hon. Friend to be sparing in increasing public expenditure. We welcome the drop in the proportion of GDP from 47 per cent. to 42·5 per cent., and next year to 41·25 per cent. Would it not be a good idea to have a public expenditure target of about 40 per cent. of GDP, because the objective of our economic policy should be to have a nil, if not a negative, public sector borrowing requirement? I urge my right hon. Friend to ignore the anger and envy of the Labour party.