The Economy

Part of Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:49 pm on 22nd June 2011.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:49 pm, 22nd June 2011

The decisions that we took in the first few weeks on coming to office provided stability for the economy. That can be seen in the fall in market interest rates and the affirmation of our credit rating. Those things happened within weeks. Of course, some of the structural reforms that we are taking will take longer to come into effect, but that is why our package includes immediate action to bring stability; medium-term action to bring down tax rates, which is happening now; and of course the long-term reforms that I will talk about. That is the point that I should like to make to the hon. Gentleman and others.

I said a year ago, not recently, that the recovery would be choppy. How could it be anything other than choppy, when we are recovering from the greatest recession since the 1930s, the biggest banking crisis in our history, landed with the biggest budget deficit in peacetime? That is the inheritance that the Government has had, and yes, there have been other factors—international headwinds, such as the oil price—[Hon. Members: “Oh.”] Well, there has been a 60% rise in the oil price, which has apparently passed the Opposition by. In the words of the International Monetary Fund, despite all this,

“the repair of the UK economy is underway”,

and the truth is that the Opposition simply do not want to hear it. They broke it, and they cannot bear to see anyone else fixing it.