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Our economic policy objective is to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth, more evenly shared across the country and between industries. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast, published at the Budget, takes full account of the policy measures announced in the spending review and in Budget 2011. The OBR forecast that the economy would grow throughout 2011, and in every year of the forecast. It will publish its updated forecast in the autumn.
It has been very clear, listening to all the international commentators talking about what is happening in the UK economy, that their advice has been to stick to the course and stick to plan A. That is the action that this Government are committed to—[ Interruption. ] This is interesting. We have one plan; the previous Government seemed to have more plans than they knew what to do with, and that is why they lost their credibility.
What we were able to do in our first Budget was to reduce corporation tax and set out a clear path to reduce it over the lifetime of this Parliament. We were also able to reverse Labour’s damaging jobs tax.
Will the Minister draw to the attention of the Chancellor the fact that economic credibility affects all Treasury Ministers in due course, and that in his case it is affecting him rather earlier than he might have thought? Can he not see that, with a lack of growth, he will not hit his deficit reduction target? Without hitting that target, he will not realise his plan, and without his plan—which is already in shreds—he will lack credibility, too.
The previous Prime Minister thought that what we now know to have been the longest and deepest recession since the war would be over in six months. That demonstrates the degree of delusion that existed under the previous regime. We are taking the tough and necessary decisions to tackle the legacy that we have been left by our predecessors.