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We can’t afford another five years of Labour’s economic incompetence

March 8, 2010

Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke joined David Cameron and George Osborne in speaking at Thomson Reuters about the state of the economy.

“This weekend showed very vividly why we can’t afford five more years of Gordon Brown”, he said. “There’s a choice to be made, and the choice of Gordon Brown is a very expensive choice indeed”.

He pointed out the Conservatives had been arguing for months that it is only the prospect of a Conservative government that has been holding down interest rates and holding up sterling. “Yesterday’s and today’s market movements show how nervous our foreign creditors and investors are about the prospects of a Gordon Brown victory or a hung parliament”, he said.

“The argument from a British point of view is if investors do not believe the new British Government has the political will to deal with the deficit and pay down some debt they will demand much higher interest rates before they will lend us any more money.”

Clarke went on to compare Labour’s policy of matching his spending plans when they were last in the Opposition, to the mess they have created and the need for the Conservative Opposition to lead the way forward.

“Only by dealing with the debts we can provide confidence to businessmen and families up and down the country that they can plan ahead with confidence, that we can get a grip on our debts, and that with interest rates lower for longer, and we can unleash the forces of enterprise to show Britain is open for business again”, he said. 

“The Conservatives have done that in the past. We turned around an economy left in tatters by Labour, got Britain growing, and left Gordon Brown with a golden economic legacy. Now we need to do it again.”

Read Ken Clarke’s speech in full

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne criticised Gordon Brown’s economic policies helping to “lead us into this mess”, and his “debt, waste and taxes” for “holding us back and threatening the recovery with higher interest rates”.

“That’s why we need change in the economy”, he said. “We need to bring back aspiration and opportunity for all. We need action now to cut the deficit, help to keep mortgage rates low and get the economy moving. And we need to get Britain working by boosting enterprise.”

And, he added, “at the coming election, that is the change the Conservatives will be offering”.

Read George Osborne’s speech in full

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