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Economic Expansion

Volume 17: debated on Sunday 11 April 1982

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17.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he is considering to create an expansion of the economy.

The Government's intentions will be made clear in my Budget Statement.

Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer now comment on the speech by his right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour) —sacked by the Prime Minister—in which the right hon. Gentleman clearly warned of the economic destruction being caused to this country by the policies of the Prime Minister and the right hon. and learned Gentleman?

That is the second time that the hon. Gentleman has asserted the same view. For the second time, I repudiate it.

Is it not the case that whatever options my right hon. and learned Friend may be considering for 9 March, and whatever options are put forward by the Opposition, these will have little impact on the level of unemployment during 1982 and most of 1983? Is it not a cruel deception on the British people to pretend otherwise?

Is not the real trouble that the Chancellor of the Exchequer's own philosophy makes him equate expansion with inflation and that until he resigns and gives way to someone with a more forward-looking policy there is no hope of achieving expansion?

It is not a question of my philosophy. It is, in fact, the case that during the 1970s monetary demand rose by almost 350 per cent., while real output rose by only one-twentieth of that. It is manifest to most observers that inflation, reflation, and expansion of monetary demand is no way to improve the economy.