The Economy

Part of Council Tax Rebate – in the House of Commons at 3:49 pm on 31st March 2009.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:49 pm, 31st March 2009

It is right that countries borrow if it is for the purpose of supporting the economy at a time such as this, when we are encountering substantial difficulties. That is very important, and I am not alone in believing that. Indeed, I saw on last night's "Newsnight" that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, who sat at the Cabinet table in the last Conservative Government with Mr. Redwood—[Hon. Members: "Who?"] It was the shadow Business Secretary, and I am glad to see him in his place, supporting loyally—as ever—the shadow Chancellor. When the shadow Business Secretary was asked last night by Mr. Paxman what he would do to save jobs, he said:

"What I'd be doing to save jobs—trying to keep stability into the system, trying to join with the others in getting the worst of the global recession over and I would also be concentrating on bailing out the banks, concentrating on the toxic asset problem".

Mr. Paxman then asked:

"Would you borrow any money?"

The shadow Business Secretary replied:

"I'd be borrowing some money in order to go for a loan guarantee to help with the credit markets".

So he would be prepared to borrow to support the economy—

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