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The hon. Lady is being quite clever and fixing the measuring rod.
Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister, openly boasted of abolishing boom and bust. That was the central claim that he made. He predicated his entire policy on that premise. The premise was wrong. As we all know, and as hon. Members have commented, we went into a recession and we were faced with a huge deficit. That was a huge bust, which the former Prime Minister, in his wisdom, failed to see. That is why we were saddled with the deficit, and why we have had to make some of the tough adjustments to which Opposition Members have alluded.
That context is important. I know that there will be difficult times. I know that up and down the country Opposition Members will bemoan and complain about Tory cuts, but the context demonstrates why the adjustments have had to be made. They were forced upon us by the international environment. My hon. Friend Nadhim Zahawi mentioned that investors would not buy British Government debt. As a consequence, we have to rein in our spending. That is common sense. It is wrong for Opposition Members to say that we are trying to strangle the baby in its cot and that we are savage and uncaring. It is a matter of practical policy. Without that, we have a bleak future.
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