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MP welcomes record-breaking economic success

Labour marks sixtieth quarter of economic growth

Dawn Primarolo, Labour MP for Bristol South, has warmly welcomed the publication of figures that confirm the UK economy has grown for sixty consecutive quarters – the longest expansion on record.

Speaking today, Dawn said:

“In the past, while we’ve had short periods of growth in the UK – we’ve never had a sustained period like this one, where the country has got better off for a decade and a half. In fact, the economy has prospered for so long now that one in five people living in Bristol South today have never experienced anything other than economic growth”.

“The contrast with the Tories could not be starker. During the eighteen years of the last government my constituents suffered the two deepest recessions of the twentieth century. Jobs were lost. Homes were repossessed on a shocking scale. Unemployment hit three million for the first time”.

“Crucially, Labour’s competent economic management has been built on two key decisions: making the Bank of England independent and setting sensible rules for public spending. Yet, while interest rates remain only half as high as under the Tories, people are feeling the pinch of recent rises. And there are new challenges – international oil and gas prices have grown higher over the past year; people rightly want more jobs and opportunities; and global competition means we must transform our skills base”.

“Guarding our economic growth in a challenging world climate will remain Labour’s priority. So, while we recognise sixty quarters of growth is a superb achievement, we’re determined to keep working for more”.

“The Tories, on the other hand, are proposing the same strategy as last time – making promises of cuts they can’t afford, and irresponsible spending pledges they can’t deliver. They might say they’ve changed, but their policies will still deliver boom and bust. Only Labour can be trusted to put economic stability and social justice first – precisely where they belong”.

The Tory Record

 Between 5 October 1989 and 8 October 1990, interest rates were at 15% for an entire year.

 Between 1990 and 1993, 1.5m homeowners suffered negative equity and 250,000 properties were repossessed.

 In 1993 and 1994, borrowing hit a record £50bn - equivalent to £90bn in today's money - as the public finances ran out of control.

 When the Tories finally left office, one in five families had no one in work and one in three children were growing up in poverty.

 In 1993, unemployment reached three million.

 The bottom third of the population saw no real terms increase in their incomes at all.

 Between 1992 and 1996, around 1,000 businesses went bust every week.

[23 July 2007]

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