Since 2010, the Government’s long-term economic plan has halved the deficit as a share of GDP, but the job is not yet done. At 4.9%, the deficit remains too high. The summer Budget set out the action that the Government will take to eliminate the deficit and run an overall surplus and start paying down debt. The Government will reduce the deficit at the same rate as over the last Parliament, to reach an overall surplus of £10 billion in 2019-20, according to the forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Future Governments need flexibility to respond to economic shocks. Does my right hon. Friend agree with me that the Charter for Budget Responsibility and plans to run a fiscal surplus are sensible measures that will provide that flexibility?
I thank my hon. Friend for that question and he is absolutely right. The reliable way to reduce debt effectively over time is to run a surplus in normal time. Public sector net debt as a share of GDP reached 80.8% last year and the Government are committed to getting debt falling as a share of GDP from here on.
I note that
What I can confirm is that the surplus will be higher at the end of the Parliament and debt will be lower. But the hon. Lady was a Member in the last Parliament and she voted against every single one of the spending reductions and other measures that we took to deal with the deficit, and all the time she wanted higher deficits, higher debt and higher spending.