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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:03 pm on 24th March 2014.

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Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative, Spelthorne 9:03 pm, 24th March 2014

No. The hon. Gentleman has had his say and I want to finish my speech, given that I have little time left.

It is very important that we remember exactly what the last Government did. In 2010, as everyone remembers, we had a deficit of £160 billion, which was the largest peacetime deficit. It is a remarkable testament to this Government that they have managed to reduce it by a third and at the same preside over economic growth. That is an extraordinary record, and I am very happy to meet my constituents and seek re-election on that basis.

I know that we should not be too obsessed with polls, but the one consistent thing emerging from the polling evidence over this whole period is that the British people consistently blame the last Government for the deficit and for the economic crisis we are in. There is an intuitive understanding that the Labour Government spent too much money, and that this coalition Government have been elected with a mandate to sort out the mess that Labour made. Intuitively, people across our constituencies get this, and that is why the Labour party, even through all these difficult times, continues to perform very poorly in the opinion polls and has yet to win the confidence of our countrymen and women.