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Spending Review and Autumn Statement — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:04 pm on 25th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord O'Neill of Gatley Lord O'Neill of Gatley The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 4:04 pm, 25th November 2015

My Lords, my noble friend Lord Tebbit goads me to spend a lot of time talking about the economy, which—looking at the clock and avoiding my own tendency—I will desist from rising to. But I implied in my answer to the noble Lord, Lord Davies, that I was somewhat baffled by his tone about the economy. I suspect that many noble Lords have not yet had the chance to read everything that has been said, particularly by the OBR, but in a number of areas of frequently highlighted vulnerability, particularly the balance of payments, the OBR is somewhat cheerier than is typically the case. As the Chancellor pointed out very clearly at the start of his speech, our economy continues to perform at the highest levels of the G7 economies and somewhat better than is generally expected by the consensus over the medium term, including the OBR’s own forecast beyond this year and next year.