Debate on state of the economy

19 March 2009

House of Commons debates and votes on Opposition motion and Government amendment on the state of the economy

Opposition motion:

Mr David Cameron, Mr George Osborne, Mr Philip Hammond, Mr Mark Hoban, Mr David Gauke, Mr Patrick McLoughlin

That this House condemns the fact that, nine months into a recession, Government policy is failing to tackle the deepening economic crisis; notes that the measures announced months ago, including the Working Capital Scheme, the National Internships Scheme, the Asset-Backed Securities Guarantee Scheme, the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme, the car manufacturers’ finance guarantee and the Recruitment Subsidies Scheme, have not yet been implemented; questions whether there is any evidence at all that the temporary cut in value added tax has succeeded; notes with concern that the value added tax cut has added to a rapidly deteriorating fiscal position, and that Government debt is likely to double by 2013; calls on the Government once again to implement what was promised, to get credit moving by introducing a National Loan Guarantee Scheme, to take tax measures in order to help savers and to take other measures to help small businesses; and further calls on the Government to start addressing the long-term causes of the current crisis, including a build-up of government, corporate and personal debt which has left the UK more exposed than other countries, and to develop the required long-term reforms of the tax system, the failed tripartite system of regulation, and the public sector, so that in future Britain lives within its means.

Government amendment:

The Prime Minister, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary Jacqui Smith, Secretary James Purnell, Secretary Hazel Blears, Yvette Cooper, Stephen Timms, Mr Pat McFadden, Angela Eagle

(a) Line 1, leave out from ‘House’ to end and add ‘recognises the impact the international credit crunch is having across the world and for households and businesses in every region of the UK; supports the Government’s decisive action to stop the banking system collapsing, secure the sector’s role in supporting the economy, households and businesses and remove blocks to sustainable lending; notes the agreements made with Lloyds, RBS and Northern Rock to increase lending to individuals and firms; welcomes the action in line with other countries across the world to boost the economy this year and next with targeted support to people and businesses including the value added tax cut, helping homeowners avoid repossession, a range of measures to provide finance and defer tax liabilities for business, pensioner payments, increased child benefit and a tax cut of £145 for 22 million basic rate taxpayers; further notes the extra resources to support those facing redundancy and seeking work; further supports the bringing forward of capital projects to improve public services and infrastructure, and provide jobs now; further notes that the Government has set out measures to deliver sustainable public finances; further welcomes the Government’s leadership of the G20 and its focus on co-ordination between countries, equipping the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank with the resources and tools needed, and reform of global financial regulation; and further supports the Government taking action now to come through stronger and faster so that the UK can take advantage of the world recovery.’.

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