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Office of Budget Responsibility reveals the true state of our economy
14/06/2010 23:47:00

Today, the new Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) published its first assessment of the state of the economy.

The Government is to be warmly congratulated for setting up the OBR. From now on, the economic forecasts on which budgets are based will be made by independent experts, not politicians with an interest in manipulating the figures, and will be published in full.

The assessment makes for interesting reading. In some areas, its estimates are more optimistic than those published by the Labour Government before the election but in the crucial areas of economic growth and the size of the structural deficit (the underlying gap between what the Government is spending and raising in tax each year once the effects of the recession have been stripped out) they are much more pessimistic.

The Chancellor made a brief statement to the House setting out the key figures. The one that caught my eye was that, on Labour's plans, by the end of this Parliament we will be spending £67,000 million every year on debt interest. That's money that could be spent on doctors, teachers and police officers but instead would be wasted because of Labour's mismanagement of the economy.

Lots of people find it hard to get their heads around such big numbers so I asked the Chancellor to let me have the figure per household - by my reckoning, every family would be paying a couple of thousand pounds of tax a year simply to pay off our debts. And we still haven't had a word of apology from Gordon Brown. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge he hasn't set foot in Parliament since the Election.

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Gavin Barwell, 133 Wickham Road, CR0 8TE, Tel  020 8663 8741      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG