Public Sector Borrowing Requirements

Chancellor of the Exchequer – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th December 2011.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Conservative, Bournemouth East 2:30 pm, 6th December 2011

What recent assessment he has made of the public sector borrowing requirement.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

In the economic and fiscal outlook for November, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility forecast public sector net borrowing in 2011-12 to be £127.1 billion or 8.4% of gross domestic product. The deficit forecast for 2015-16 is £53.2 billion or 2.9% of GDP.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Conservative, Bournemouth East

I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. The public sector borrowing requirement was, of course, affected by the size of the public sector. Under the last Government, the number of public sector employees ballooned by 700,000. Although many might be important jobs such as those for doctors and nurses, has the Minister had an opportunity to do any analysis to ascertain whether every single one of those jobs was really necessary?

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Treasury would not centrally manage changes to public sector work forces, but employers have been reforming their work forces since the spending review to make the necessary savings and maximise value for money. My hon. Friend is certainly right that the last Government left us a ballooning financial disaster with the highest deficit since world war two.