I remind the House that in the Register of Members' Financial Interests I have declared that I offer business advice to an industrial and an investment company.
In this debate, the Labour Treasury spokesman wanted to talk the economy into a double dip. He was trying to create a mood of gloom and doom. He rejected the independent forecasts provided in conjunction with the Budget and the many independent forecasts put together by people outside the House, and sometimes outside the country, which all say that a recovery is expected for the British economy over the next five years and that that recovery will be led by investments and exports.
Obviously, the scepticism among those on the Opposition Benches arises because Labour Members have not understood one fundamental thing. The economy was so badly damaged and devastated by what happened in 2008-09 that it can indeed, I am pleased to tell the House, have a recovery based on higher exports, higher manufacturing output and higher service sector output-because the outputs were so badly hit in '08-'09. That does not mean that we will go into a new utopia or suddenly into overdrive with superbly high growth rates; it means that we will start recovering from a disastrous banking crisis and recession, which some of us felt were made far worse by the policies and antics of the Labour party when it was in office.
To try to buttress its double-dip case, the Labour party is now saying that the true Treasury forecast says that, far from there being a drop in unemployment, there will be 1.3 million job losses and that somehow my right hon. and hon. Friends at the Treasury are trying to conceal that. As I understand it, the leak to The Guardian was misjudged because it was a working paper with lots of errors in it. The proper expression of Treasury opinion was passed to the Office for Budget Responsibility, which is manned by people of independent judgment who could ask the Treasury for all the details that they wanted about its workings, and could use the Treasury's own models. They came to the perfectly sensible conclusion, shared by most other forecasters, that there will be nothing like that degree of job loss and that unemployment will indeed fall over the period of the forecast.
Copy and paste this code on your website