My hon. Friend is right. The Treasury's own forecast shows a huge loss of private as well as public sector jobs. Many private firms depend on public sector contracts to keep going. More to the point, enterprise does not flourish when so much money is taken out of the economy that it becomes devastated. If the Government cut benefits, freeze wages and cut public sector jobs, that does not lead to a vital entrepreneurial culture but to a culture of fear in which people do not take risks.
Let me take one example of the way in which the Government have failed to consider the knock-on effect of the Finance Bill. They propose to increase VAT. That will have a damaging effect on the retail sector, yet that sector provides many entry-level jobs and jobs for women who wish to combine work with looking after children. It provides jobs for the women whom the Government want to get back to work when their children go to school. If those jobs are not there, where will those women go? There is simply no joined-up thinking here.
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