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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:41 pm on 24th March 2011.

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Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:41 pm, 24th March 2011

The hon. Lady is right—deficits went up. They went up in Britain, Germany, France, America and all around the world. They did not go up because spending or the national debt was too high in Britain. That is a Conservative myth put about to try to justify the Government’s cuts to police, the national health service and schools. The reason deficits became big was that we had the biggest global financial crisis in 100 years. If we had not let the deficits go up when the tax revenues went down, it would have been not a world recession but a world depression. It was only our actions—here in Britain and around the world—that saved our financial system from disaster. We nationalised the banks, let the deficit go up and got unemployment down—all of which was opposed by the present Chancellor.