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Charter for Budget Responsibility

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 2016.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:00 am, 1st March 2016

In the debates at the time of the charter, I and many others warned the Chancellor of the potential impact of global adverse headwinds. The Chancellor responded by boasting

“of having an economic plan that actually produces better results than were forecast”.—[Official Report, 25 November 2015;
Vol. 602, c. 1385.]

Since then, we have seen business investment fall, his export target recede into the distance, the trade deficit widen, manufacturing and construction enter recession, and the biggest productivity gap for a generation. Last week, to crown it all, the Chancellor told us the economy is smaller than we thought. I say to him that if his economic plan is now producing worse results than forecast, imposing more stealth taxes and cuts in the Budget will only—[Interruption.]