Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 24th March 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon 3:51 pm, 24th March 2011

Indeed; I am grateful to my hon. Friend.

The shadow Chancellor, in contending today that the changes were too fast and too deep, once again relied on the Keynesian multiplier. He is an eminent economist, and he should know better than to rely too heavily on that mechanism. It has traditionally held out the prospect that public sector investment has an impact on the private sector, so there could be an element of crowding out and of limiting of growth potential. If the right hon. Gentleman has read the recent academic research, however, he will also know that the size of the multiplier in the growth phase of an economy is about a third of the size of the multiplier when an economy is going into recession. To rely on that thesis is therefore to rely on a very weak economic mechanism.

But let us leave the world of deficit denial behind, and welcome a Budget that does not bow to pressure. It is hugely important that the Government should stick to their policy of deficit reduction, as that is the only way to achieve long-term growth in the economy. Market rates clearly indicate that there is confidence in what the Government are doing, and to be blown off course would result in a loss of confidence. The cost of borrowing and the yields on 10-year gilts, which are important for the cost of industry borrowing and UK Government borrowing, would change. Domestic inflation would rise in those circumstances, and any indication of making a special case for one would result in having to make a special case for another. The Government are therefore to be congratulated on sticking to their policy.