Financial Crisis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:36 pm on 20th January 2009.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) 3:36 pm, 20th January 2009

I have not read the report to which the hon. Gentleman refers. We are certainly seeing an increase in unemployment right around the world. I was Employment Minister a year ago, and for a period I was able to announce in successive months more people in work in the UK than we have ever had before. The position today looks radically different; that is why we are putting in place the measures that we have announced in the past couple of weeks. The key is to ensure that people who lose their jobs are able to get back into work as quickly as possible, given that there are still more than 500,000 vacancies available.

We took the right course of action in the pre-Budget report to support the economy with a fiscal stimulus, not least in view of employment considerations, along the lines outlined in this plan, as adopted by other EU and G7 Governments. This is a global crisis that will require a global solution, and we will continue to work closely with others for a co-ordinated approach. The EU is a key partner for us. The plan is a bold step in co-ordinating the response to the crisis for the benefit of all the citizens of Europe. I commend these documents to the House.

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