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Government Capital Expenditure

Part of Opposition Day — [3rd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:55 pm on 2nd February 2009.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) 4:55 pm, 2nd February 2009

No. I agree with the Prime Minister's assessment and there are two reasons: first, as we have already discovered in this debate, we go into the recession with a low level of debt compared with other G7 countries and, secondly, we go in with a high level of employment; indeed, for several months last year more people in the UK were working than ever before. We have gone into the recession in good shape but the effects of the downturn are now being felt everywhere around the world. Trade and manufacturing have contracted sharply in America, Europe and Asia as companies have been unable to access the credit they need, so economic forecasts for growth in 2009 have been revised sharply downwards.

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