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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 23rd March 2011.

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Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell Labour, Middlesbrough 2:00 pm, 23rd March 2011

That is not true and could not possibly be true.

I have just referred to the fact that we borrowed £11 billion in February alone. My point in relation to Lord Lamont and John Major is that if one takes every aspect of the Government’s policy on competitiveness, growth, unemployment and inflation, one sees that they are falling back to where they were in the years between 1979 and 1983 and into 1992. So, it seems that the public sector and the welfare state do not count for much and that what counts is balancing the budget. I am surprised that the hon. Member for Chichester did not go one stage further and say that in five years we might adopt the German approach of balancing the budget completely.

I do not want to hold up the House for much longer, but I want to mention my constituency and say to the Chancellor that we are very grateful that we have an enterprise zone and a local enterprise partnership for Tees valley and that we will work closely with the Government on both of them. The mothballing of Redcar steel mill has been reversed and there is a new buyer taking it over. On Teesside, we will look to the Budget, the LEP, the new enterprise zone and the new steel mill, which will create jobs and bring in £600 million in investment. So, despite the cutbacks and the impact on local councils, the future is bright for Teesside. I am happy to be confident in that future, notwithstanding all the blows that we will take over the next four years.