Living Standards

Part of Opposition Day — [Un-allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:12 pm on 30th November 2011.

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Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Labour, South Shields 4:12 pm, 30th November 2011

My hon. Friend has demonstrated that it is harder to make a short speech than a long one, but she has summed up very well in a few words what I am trying to say in rather more.

Fourthly, the Chancellor says that without austerity we would be in the same position as Greece, but the maturity of British bonds is closer to 14 years than to the 14 weeks or 14 days that seem to afflict the Greeks; much more of our borrowing is covered by domestic savings; and above all—unlike countries including Italy, which the Secretary of State mentioned—we have our monetary sovereignty. Far from the Government’s having instilled confidence and stirred entrepreneurial spirits for the future, confidence has dropped further and faster in Britain than anywhere else in the last 18 months, and had done so well before the euro crisis. Moreover, the level of confidence is lower than it was when the Government came to office.