Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:31 pm on 6th July 2010.

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Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 4:31 pm, 6th July 2010

I am grateful for the intervention, in both senses.

Returning to the Bill, I should say that our plan stands first and foremost for responsibility, because a failure to deal with the deficit is the greatest threat to our economy and to the well-being of our nation. A failure to act now would mean higher interest rates hitting businesses, hitting families and hitting the cost of repaying the Government's debt. That would mean more business failures and sharper rises in unemployment, and it would risk a catastrophic loss of confidence in the economy. The Budget's forward-looking fiscal mandate will eliminate the deficit in five years and put us on track to have the debt falling by 2015.

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that the measures in our Budget will lead us to meet that challenge one year early and the bulk of the reduction will come from lower spending, rather than from higher taxes. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced that the spending review will conclude with an announcement on 20 October and address precisely how we will bring down spending.

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