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Devolution and Growth Across Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:17 pm on 3rd June 2015.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2:17 pm, 3rd June 2015

I want to continue my speech.

Looking at the incredible success that much of the UK is already enjoying, it would be easy to forget just how far we have come. When this House reconvened in 2010 our economy was on the brink, reeling from the deepest recession in almost 100 years and burdened with the largest peacetime deficit in our history. [Interruption.] Labour Members do not want to know. They want the country to forget. We were struggling to pay for the world’s largest bank bail-out. The turnaround achieved in the past five years has, by any measure, been remarkable.

Last year, Britain was the fastest-growing major advanced economy in the world. Just today, the OECD confirmed that in 2015, according to its projections, we will once again be the fastest growing major economy in the advanced world. We have more people in work than at any point in history thanks to 2.2 million private sector jobs created by British business since 2010. In fact, the UK has created more jobs in five years than the rest of the European Union put together, giving us the highest employment rate in our history and the lowest claimant count for 40 years. We have cut the deficit as a percentage of GDP by half. We cut corporation tax to 20% and cut employer national insurance contributions. The British public have endorsed the Conservative’s long-term plan, which has allowed this business-led recovery. They gave us a mandate to continue to implement it and that is exactly what we will do.