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Industry (Government Support)

Part of Opposition Day — [1st allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 16th June 2010.

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Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative, Spelthorne 4:48 pm, 16th June 2010

During the 2005 election, we were- [ Interruption ] . If I may continue.

The general Aladdin's lamp approach was shown to be absurd. As the then Government kept rubbing the lamp and the genie came out, they asked for money, but the genie suddenly became rather less giving. At one point, the genie-in form of Mr Byrne-wrote a letter and said, "There is no money. We have run out of money." The reason why we have done so is simply that we were spending too much.

I have a Methodist background. My mother is a Methodist lay preacher, and she would tell the Sunday school, which I attended, about the seven fat years and the seven lean years. Those hon. Members who know the Old Testament will remember that Joseph had a dream in which he dreamt of seven fat cows and then the seven lean cows. [ Interruption. ] This is not very complicated; it is quite simple actually, so please bear with me. I know that Labour Members have concentration problems sometimes. I am sorry-it was a long time ago. The pharaoh had the dream and he spoke to Joseph. [ Interruption. ] This is very important and interesting. He asked, "What does this mean?" and Joseph said very simply, "You will have seven fat years and seven lean years." The whole point is that we are meant to save money in the fat years, so that we can spend it in the lean years. The Labour Government comprehensively failed to do that. They thought that the fat years would run indefinitely. They thought that they had abolished boom and bust.

The point of telling that simple story is to show comprehensively the reason for the cuts mentioned by the hon. Gentleman-I forget his constituency. [Hon. Members: "Sedgefield."] I apologise; I was perhaps confusing him with another Member for Sedgefield. Phil Wilson referred to them as Tory cuts, but the simple story of Labour's failure to rein in Government spending in the boom is why we must make these cuts. They are not coming out of the blue or from savageness.

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