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I thank the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. It is certainly true that if we had higher borrowing costs and a tighter monetary policy, interest rates would be higher, mortgage rates would be higher and the average mortgage holder and household would be suffering considerably.
I welcome the fact that the Budget is a reforming Budget that has not shied away from taking difficult long-term decisions, such as the proposals to merge income tax and national insurance. A properly functioning system of social insurance could have been a very fine thing—indeed, that was what Beveridge originally anticipated—but the system has been allowed to slip away from the contributory principle into a disguised income stealth tax. The new reform will bring home to people just how heavily they are taxed and will encourage them to demand better public services for their money.
In short, the country is emerging from a time of fake capitalism that was matched by fake government—a time when Fred Goodwin could destroy an august 200-year old financial institution, squander billions in shareholder value and then walk away with a fortune and have a Minister sign off on his pension. The economy became grossly unbalanced in that time and executive compensation soared both inside and outside the financial sector with little or no relation to performance. It was a time of increased complexity, short-termism, bureaucracy and regulation. As every Herefordian knows, what we need now is real capitalism, with real people taking real risks, investing real time in real work and reaping real rewards for their efforts, and this Budget is a very important step in that direction.