Jobs and Growth

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 1:00 pm on 17th May 2012.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:00 pm, 17th May 2012

I certainly think that a lack of airport capacity is a challenge for this country, but one of the good things that may emerge from the bmi merger is that more slots may become available at Heathrow to open up routes to those cities in China. My hon. Friend makes the very good observation that we have to do much more to expand our exports and our links with the Chinas and Indias of this world. One of the good things that has happened in the past few years is that our exports to China and India are up by a third, and we need to see more of that.

In his speech, the shadow Chancellor dismissed the Governor of the Bank of England as plain wrong. Who appointed the Governor? Did the recommendation ever come across the desk of the shadow Chancellor when he was the political adviser in the Treasury? [Interruption.] We will find out. Yesterday the Governor said:

“We have been through…the biggest downturn in world output since the 1930s, the biggest banking crisis in this country’s history, the biggest fiscal deficit in our peacetime history, and our biggest trading partner, the euro area, is tearing itself apart”.

My message to the House today is that addressing those problems is not easy, but nor is it impossible. I will come on to talk about the eurozone, but first we must put our own house in order, and we are making progress on doing so.