I welcome the Budget and commend the Chancellor for his stewardship over the past year. Not only the leader in The Times this morning but individuals I have spoken to in the City over the past year have remarked on his stewardship of the economy.
The results of the banking crisis, though, remain with us to this day. Whether it is higher unemployment or difficulties getting credit, people are still feeling the effects. We must recognise that that still has the potential to generate public anger and resentment. It is safe to say that the message that was repeated to us at the time of the pre-Budget report was that the outlook was uncertain. For instance, the Treasury Committee stated:
"The picture on bank lending remains uncertain, to say the least. While we do not want to return to the times of easy credit, the Government must remain aware of the risk that lending will not support renewed private sector growth as the public sector retrenches."
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