The Economy

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 4th June 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State 12:45 pm, 4th June 2015

If we had listened to the SNP there would be a massive hole in Scotland’s public finances because of the price of oil. We are obviously going to be hearing a lot more from SNP Members in this Parliament because of their numbers. If there are cuts that they oppose, let me point out that the Scottish National party in Holyrood has the power to increase taxes to increase spending. It has the power to increase income tax already and it is getting more powers next year to do so. When it comes to complaints about public expenditure, it is time for the SNP to put up or shut up.

Let me turn to economic security and public spending. Economic security is at the heart of everything. Without economic security, families cannot be supported, people cannot buy homes, businesses dare not invest, and jobs are not created. Without economic security, there are no aspirations, no opportunities, no hopes, and no ambitions. We cannot have economic security in a country that borrows too much and spends too much and does not live within its means. When confronted with the synthetic cries of Labour Members who claim to be standing up for the poorest in our country, let us also recognise this: the people who suffer most when Britain cannot pay its way, spends more than it can afford and sees security give way to instability are not the richest in this country but the poorest. When the economy fails, it is the poorest who lose their jobs, see their incomes cut, and see their dreams shattered. That is what we saw five years ago when there was no money left. For as long as Labour Members fail to understand that, they will remain the anti-worker party.

Economic security is at the heart of everything we offer, and it will be at the centre of the Budget I present to this House on 8 July. The budget deficit is less than half what it was, but at 4.8% it is still one of the highest in the world. Our national debt as a share of national income—