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Economic Growth

Volume 587: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2014

In the year to the third quarter of 2014, GDP grew by 3%; it is now 3.4% above the pre-crisis peak. The International Monetary Fund expects the UK economy to be the fastest growing in the G7 in 2014.

Clearly the fact that we are leading our European partners in economic growth shows that the long-term economic plan is working. Does my right hon. Friend agree that, with the eurozone in crisis and external factors uncertain, the last thing we want to do is return the keys to those who crashed the car in the first place?

I am sorry that my hon. Friend has brought up the shadow Chancellor’s recent driving incidents, but I agree with the point that the Labour party made the economic mess that we—Liberal Democrats and Conservatives—came together in a coalition to sort out. We have made strong progress in this Parliament, including achieving the strongest growth in the G7. The last thing that the country needs is to hand the keys back to a majority Labour Government.

The long-term economic plan is not working in terms of the living standards of people up and down the country. What has been the rate of growth of wages over the past year?

The rate of growth of real wages has been low, and that needs continued attention in the months and years to come. However, I hope that the hon. Gentleman would join me in welcoming the fact that millions of our fellow citizens are now in work as opposed to being unemployed, as they were under the Labour Government. We now need to work to make sure that we increase business investment, enhance productivity, and make sure that the benefits of the economic growth we are seeing are shared as widely as possible. I think that he and I would agree about that.