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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

As I said, the OBR says that subdued consumption outlook requires households to dip into their savings again in 2011, so the savings ratio continues to fall back from its post-recession peak. It also says that the savings ratio is now forecast to be historically low. Household debt as a percentage of income rises every year from 2010, even though it fell in 2009-10. Those are the facts.

Yesterday we needed a plan from the Chancellor to help hard-pressed families facing the squeeze, to get people back into work and to get our economy growing again. That is what we needed, and that is what we did not get. There was no change to a deficit reduction plan that is faster than that of any other major economy in the world. It pushes growth down and unemployment up. The Chancellor fails to realise that cutting too deep and too fast will make it harder to get our deficit down. He also failed to understand that while he gives the banks a tax cut this year, ordinary families are being hit hard now. It was a smoke-and-mirrors Budget.