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Last month's report from the International Monetary Fund stated:
"For over a decade, the United Kingdom has sustained low inflation and rapid economic growth—an exceptional achievement...the fruit of strong policies and policy frameworks, which provide a strong foundation to weather global" challenges.
Let us examine the position from which we start, compared with that of previous decades. While the CPI inflation rate is now 3.3 per cent., it was 8.5 per cent. in April 1991, and for nearly two years it was more than twice as high as it is now. The retail prices index inflation rate is now 4.3 per cent. It peaked at over 20 per cent. in 1980 and averaged 6.4 per cent. from 1979 to 1997, compared with an average of 2.8 per cent. since. We should now be supporting the pensioners who experienced the breaking of the link between pension and earnings, cuts in their pensions and persistent high-inflation problems throughout the Conservatives' time in office, rather than listening to lessons from the Conservatives, whose record on both inflation and the management of public finances is one of which they should be ashamed.
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