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Public Responsibility For Social Justice

Part of Orders of the Day — Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:56 pm on 10th March 1997.

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Photo of Mr Bill Walker Mr Bill Walker , North Tayside 4:56 pm, 10th March 1997

The hon. Gentleman should do his homework more carefully. Toyota has done a U-turn on the single currency; it now says the opposite of what it was saying and, given the UK's current performance, can see an advantage in its being outside the single currency. It is important to note that, during unification, the Germans miscalculated the basis on which the various currencies should be made one. They are now paying a terrible price and will continue to do so—chickens always come home to roost in relation to financial and fiscal policy.

As with a company's balance sheets, it may be possible to hide things for a year or even two but, over a period, the truth always emerges. The SNP wears its heart on its sleeve but, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State showed using the SNP's own figures, its budget reveals a massive deficit. That does not mean that Scotland could not be an economic entity on its own, if it was able to get somebody else to pick up the tabs, as southern Ireland has. Our money—United Kingdom taxpayers' money—has made southern Ireland what it is.