The Economy

Part of Opposition Day — [10th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:32 pm on 18th November 2015.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:32 pm, 18th November 2015

Just as we are about to take off with regard to renewables, the Government are impeding and undermining their future. My hon. Friend, like me, will have spoken to some of the companies. Some have gone to the wall and others are struggling. It is a devastating blow.

Labour would also tackle the large-scale tax evasion and avoidance that the Chancellor is so reluctant to address. Let me say what many working in our economy want to hear from the Chancellor next week. First and most importantly, he must reverse, fairly and in full, his cuts to tax credits. That should be his absolute priority. Secondly, there should be a plan to support investment to well beyond the minimum 3.5% of GDP recommended by the OECD, in terms of both infrastructure and training investment. Thirdly, we need a plan to address the balance of payments crisis, so that we can pay our way in the world once more. The Government are focusing on one deficit while ignoring another possibly more serious one. Fourthly, we want a realistic plan to tackle the deficit, based on sustainable economic growth and fair and wise judgments. Finally, we want an end to the self-defeating cuts and a serious programme to address tax evasion and avoidance and improve the overall efficacy of our tax system. If the Chancellor fails to take these steps, he places in jeopardy the long-term health of our economy. The choice next week is his to make.