Yesterday in the very short Budget debate we were finally allowed, there were signs of a sensible agreement across the House. Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs united to tell the government it is more important to sort out the banks than to borrow more to reflate.
Today in the Telegraph I have set out how the government should re-open the banking support package, to cut the risks to the taxpayer and to help it work better. I have also pointed out that the government and the regulators are forcing the banks to be ultra cautious with their new regulatory requirements, at the same time as lecturing them on the need to be less cautious and to lend more at a time when too many people will find it difficult to pay the interest and pay back the capital.
I am still livid that there was “no time” for me to make these comments in the Commons, owing to the government’s stubborn refusal to allow us to debate the Budget for long enough yesterday. It certainly shows that this Budget, which Labour claim is the answer, is not something they are proud of or wish to defend. Labour speakers yesterday found it difficult to warm to the VAT cut, and turned for comfort instead to bashing the “rich”, people on more than £19,000 a year who will have to pay more tax on Labour plans for 2010 and beyond. So Parliament gets another holiday!