I would like to make progress.
We have considered the plans of the previous Government and it is clear that they left us open to the risk of ending up in an even more serious crisis than that which we currently face. Such a crisis could ask questions of the kind that some other European countries face today, with higher interest rates-I mentioned those to Mr Jones-more businesses going bust and higher unemployment. That is not a risk that we are prepared to take. The Budget takes the tough action necessary, but it does so with fairness, protecting the most vulnerable, including children in poverty and pensioners. In his emergency Budget, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor has set out clearly how we will pay for the bills of the past and start to plan for the future. This has already had an impact on the credibility of and confidence in the British economy.
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