Yesterday I asked a question to George Osborne, The Chancellor, during a debate on the Government's economic policy:
Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central, Conservative):
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that a significant part of the deficit is structural, which means that, as vital as growth is, it will not do anything to reduce the structural element? As long as Opposition Front Benchers refuse to acknowledge the key fact that we need to start living within our means again, they will not be fit to return to office.
George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer, HM Treasury; Tatton, Conservative):
My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and that is why one of our debt objectives relates to the structural deficit. The structural deficit is the part that does not go away when the economy grows. The shadow Chancellor’s argument that all these problems will disappear as the economy grows is simply nonsense. That was his argument before the financial crisis, that is why Britain went into the financial crisis with a 5% structural deficit, and that is why, when boom turned to bust, the country found itself without any money.