I have three priorities in my Budget this year. The first priority is to keep the economy on track to achieve the great prize of sustainable growth. This recovery offers the best prospect that the British people have faced for many years to enjoy the benefits of growth that does not pass through illusory boom to painful bust.
My second priority has been to use this recovery wisely to encourage the creation of more jobs, particularly for people who have been out of work for some time. We must combine greater prosperity for the majority of our people with measures to prevent the emergence of a deprived underclass, excluded from the opportunity to work and dependent on welfare.
The third priority is to strengthen the economy in the longer term. We must aim for a modern economy in which the growth of enterprising companies will give people a greater sense of confidence in the flow of new jobs that will always be required to replace the old jobs eroded by technology and competition.