I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for making the point, as I was arguing, that other countries are taking action now-in this year, even as we speak-to deal with these problems. He stood on a platform, as did the right hon. Member for Morley and Outwood, saying that it would be "folly" to take action this year. That view-that action was required this year-was not put forward only by Conservative Members, as it was the view of the Governor of the Bank of England, who backed early action to deal with the deficit. He said that we needed to
"tackle excessive fiscal budget deficits" and added:
"I am very pleased that there is a very clear and binding commitment to accelerate the reduction in the deficit over the lifetime of the Parliament and to introduce additional measures this fiscal year to demonstrate the importance of getting to grips with that before running the risk of an adverse market reaction."
How wise were those words and how welcome is such robustness from the Governor of the Bank of England. Indeed, one newspaper columnist has argued:
"That is why Bank of England independence, once a controversial idea, is now accepted across all parties and by both sides of industry."
The columnist in question is, of course, the right hon. Member for Morley and Outwood, writing in the Wakefield Express.