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I will gladly give way to the hon. Gentleman in a few moments, after I have made a little progress.
At the same time as reducing our public debt, as we did, the fiscal framework has allowed us to protect public investment. The last Conservative Government allowed public investment to shrivel: it hit a low of 0.3 per cent. of GDP in 1988, and in 1996-97—the last year for which they were responsible—it was just 0.6 per cent. That abysmal record of under-investment left a legacy of decaying public services and infrastructure that every Member of this House will remember all too clearly in their own area.
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