Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill — Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Baroness Meacher Baroness Meacher Crossbench 3:45 pm, 25th February 2013

It is very fashionable to blame the previous Government for our predicament but does the noble Lord accept that the banks have to carry perhaps 90% of the burden of responsibility, and that the banking crisis started in the United States-not even in this country? In fact, if there was a weakness, it was in the degree of regulation. My understanding is that the previous Conservative Administration opposed even the level of regulation that this country had. This is therefore not a party political issue; it is about banking, and this country has been deeply wounded by the banking crisis.

The other question for the noble Lord is whether he accepts, as Lord Maynard Keynes argued rather powerfully, that if you are in a terrible state of recession the best way to get yourself out of it is to generate growth. That means that you should not be withdrawing demand from the economy in this incredibly irresponsible way. What the Government are doing is very worrying.