Finance (No. 2) Bill

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 6:06 pm on 1st April 2014.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative, North East Somerset 6:06 pm, 1st April 2014

It is an enormous pleasure to follow Mr Jones, who always entertains the House with his eloquence. I am sorry that he has been relatively brief today. On previous Finance Bills, he has held forth for over an hour, and I was hoping for something similar.

Mr Bain started with a list of anniversaries, but he was remiss in not mentioning that today is the anniversary of the death of Eleanor of Aquitaine, which I happen to think is rather more interesting than the anniversaries he was able to provide us with.

It is a great pleasure to support the Government on this Finance Bill. It is worth looking at some of the figures that have been batted back and forth during the debate, some of which seem, to some degree, to have been invented by the Opposition. The real figures show that the Government can be proud of their record. Let me run through them, if I may. They are a mixture from the World Bank and the Red Book. GDP declined by 0.8% in 2008 and by 5.2% in 2009. I think that some people may have missed that downwards revision by the Office for National Statistics. GDP rose by 1.7% in 2010, by 1.1% in 2011, by 0.1% in 2012, and by 1.8% in 2013. The key to those figures is that since this Government have been in office, there has been no triple-dip or double-dip, as was predicted; in fact, the economy has grown because the Government have followed the right policies.