Autumn Forecast

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons Commission – in the House of Commons at 3:28 pm on 29th November 2010.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:28 pm, 29th November 2010

The short answer is no. We inherited a situation of very deep recession, a major banking crisis and a record fiscal deficit. I thought-although one is never sure-it was common ground across the parties that at least we had to do something to address the fiscal deficit, not that we have heard specific measures from the Opposition for doing that. In the summer, the OBR produced a comparison of the growth forecasts under the previous Government's plans and under the plans of the current Government, which showed that over a period of time we were putting forward a much more sustainable path for growth that would lead to higher growth in the future. It also avoids the downside risk-the tail risk-of a major fiscal event, which would be a major loss of confidence in the UK. It is pretty remarkable that here we are today debating the numbers, and that is fine, but we are not having to worry about the UK's creditworthiness, unlike some other countries in the European Union, even though we inherited the largest budget deficit in the EU. We have taken measures to take ourselves out of that firing line, and now we have sustainable growth and jobs are being created.