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The hon. Gentleman was not here in the last Parliament, but I was asked that on numerous occasions. No Government can ever eradicate economic cycles. They have been around for years, and I expect that the current Government will find that they will be around for years as well. What I would say to the hon. Gentleman is this. Just before we went into this crisis, we had the second lowest debt level of the G7, behind only Canada, and although we had a structural deficit, it was much smaller- [ Interruption. ] Yes, we were borrowing to build schools and hospitals, but when they were sitting here on the Opposition Benches, Conservative Members used to call for more spending on schools, hospitals and the police, not less.
The point is that whatever we do, when we get that borrowing down, we have to ensure that we do it in a way that does not damage the fabric of the economy. Indeed, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said that he was
"very much opposed to the Conservative approach of rushing into cuts...regardless of the condition in the economy. That's not sensible."
He was right then and he would have been right now, but he is pursuing a different policy.
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