I agree with my hon. Friend. The approach taken by the Opposition when they opposed the fiscal stimulus is one that would have been designed to hammer the sort of family she met in her constituency last week, taking away the support that is now being offered through tax cuts, which boost family budgets, and the support for people who lose their jobs. That is wrong at the level of the individual and the family and it is wrong at the national level, too.
Taken together, the policies advocated by the Opposition would take billions of pounds out of the economy now, and away from British business now, in the middle of the recession. It is the wrong time to do that, when a struggling private sector needs public sector support and investment. The Opposition make the wrong judgment today, as they did last year in the banking crisis. If we followed their advice, the recession would last longer, the recovery would be slower and the cost would be greater in the long run. It is a mistake to believe that their cuts would help us out of the recession. We have to invest and grow our way out of recession.
It is on that point that the Opposition make their third defining misjudgment, because they cannot offer British business and the British people the support that they need to grow this country for a more prosperous future. Our Budget builds on the measures that we have already taken to get lending and credit going again following the banking crisis, to boost the economy and to provide extra support for skills training for those who lose their jobs in order to get them back into work.
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