Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 25th January 2012.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 11:30 am, 25th January 2012

These are extremely difficult economic times and these are disappointing figures—although they are not unexpected, because the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast a small decline in gross domestic product at the end of last year. I will be frank with the right hon. Gentleman: they reflect three things. They reflect the overhang of the debt and the deficit that we have to deal with; they reflect the higher food and fuel prices that put a squeeze on household income towards the end of last year; and they also reflect the crisis in the eurozone that has frozen Europe’s economies. The forecasts for France, Germany, Spain and Italy for the end of last year forecast as great a decline, or in many cases a greater decline. This is the year when we have to take further action to get our economy moving, but the most important thing is to have a credible plan to get on top of the deficit, which has given us the lowest interest rates for more than 100 years.