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Thank you for calling me to speak, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am for ever astounded by Opposition Members and their total denial that their party had anything to do with the financial mess that this Government are sorting out. My grandfather always used to say to me, “You spend what you earn and you never borrow on the never-never.” The only economics that Labour Members seem to understand are the economics of the never-never—never worrying about how much money they were borrowing and never worrying about how much money they would ever have to pay back.
Ever since I left university in 1997, I have worked in manufacturing. I am proud of that and I am proud that the Government are doing something for manufacturing to reverse the decline we have suffered. It is about time that we had a Government who care about this and who will sweep away the regulations that have stifled manufacturing. When I was running a pottery business, I used to go to many countries across the globe—I can even proudly boast to be probably the only Member of Parliament who has sold chinaware to the Chinese— and whether I was in Germany, Italy or France, the Governments spoke to their businesses and wanted to know how to help them best, minimising regulation and helping businesses to succeed. That is the ethos that I believe has been spelled out in this Budget and it is one that I welcome.
I also want to pass on my thanks to the Chancellor for the fact that he has listened to representations from me and many other colleagues on community investment tax relief. In my constituency, that will help the Black Country Reinvestment Society, an organisation that is helping businesses, giving them small loans to help them grow and prosper. That will have a positive impact and I thank the Chancellor and colleagues on the Front Bench for listening.
This country faces many great challenges, which we have to deal with, and rebalancing the economy is the core one. I believe that this Budget makes strides to achieve that and that it will do so.