The Economy

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 29th June 1998.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:30 pm, 29th June 1998

It is always someone else's fault; it is never the fault of this Government. It has nothing to do with them; they are merely the Government and they merely take the decisions. How have they managed that with the balance of payments figures heading sharply into the red—just the faintest whiff of a balance of payments crisis? With our economy turning down and the European economies starting a gradual recovery, this should have been the time at which the balance of payments turned decisively in our favour, but it is doing the reverse.

What has happened to our export-led recovery? Last week, the Confederation of British Industry figures showed export orders for May and June at their lowest for 15 years. The Government have blown it already—after only a year, they are frittering the legacy away and it is all coming apart. Therefore, it is not surprising that manufacturing is already in recession, with falling production in the past two quarters and jobs lost day after day.