Balanced Budget Rule — [Graham Stringer in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:03 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 4:03 pm, 23rd January 2019

That is a perfectly reasonable comment. Time and again the Conservative Governments whom we have had to endure—I choose to use the word “endure”—over the last nine years have failed to take a wider view on policy-making in the country. Petty infighting over Brexit has put us on a precipitous, catastrophic no-deal path. They failed, through austerity, to see, and to care about, how an ideological commitment to cutting apart Government would have ripple effects across the country on rough sleeping, indebtedness, demand and productivity, which is virtually the worst in Europe under this Government.

Our fiscal credibility rule, and economic policy in general, takes a wider view, which is important. We understand how fiscal and monetary policy have to interrelate for the economy to function well in different times, and we understand how principles of economic management such as our fiscal credibility rule have to fit into a broader vision of an economy that serves society, and not just those with the strongest voices.