Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:08 pm on 30th April 2002.

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Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Minister (Olympics and London), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Olympics and London), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) 5:08 pm, 30th April 2002

No.

Interestingly, Labour's key policy changes after the last election and the 1997 election were based on Liberal Democrat manifesto commitments made in the campaigns. In 1997, in order to move away from the Conservative policies of boom and bust and failed economic management, the Labour Government rightly adopted our policy of establishing an independent central bank. [Laughter.] Labour Members laugh, but the proposal was not set out in their manifesto, so they should wipe the smiles off their faces. Perhaps they will be more amused by my next observation. It was interesting to hear Conservative Front Benchers try to take credit in the Budget debate for the independent central bank policy, when they had opposed it in government. It beggars belief that the Conservative Opposition are trying to take credit for that policy.

However, after the 2001 election, Labour has now adopted our policy of raising tax to invest in the public services. If only it had done so before.