Spending Review – Keynes

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Why does the Chancellor think he is so right, and Keynes wrong?

Mr Osborne: We have drawn on the best economic evidence that the recovery from a banking crisis of the severity that we went through is long and protracted, but we have to de-lever as an economy and try to fix our banking system. That is what I set out at the Mansion House. We also have to have a credible fiscal policy in order to allow monetary policy to be loose. I think that is the best economic approach.


Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Is it fair that Welsh churches, charities, caravanners, pensioners and almost everybody else will pay more taxes so that millionaires can each pay £40,000 less?

Mr Jones: That is a very strange rhetorical question. The right hon. Gentleman will know that the reduction in the top rate of tax will not take effect until the end of the public spending freeze and it is quite interesting that the Government of whom he was a member did not see fit to increase the rate of tax until a matter of weeks before their last Budget.

Mr Hain: I am amazed that the hon. Gentleman is not ashamed of that impact on some of the most vulnerable in our society. Can we in Wales, through him, apologise to the Secretary of State? We used to think that she was all on her own at sea in the Cabinet, but clearly they are now all at sea together. The Budget omnishambles, Abu Qatada, petrol pump panic—at least Wales has a Labour Government to give us some protection from this Tory-Lib Dem incompetence. At least Wales can reject this disastrous Budget by voting Labour in the council elections next Thursday.

Mr Jones: I am still waiting for the question, Mr Speaker.