Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Does my hon. Friend remember Labour’s gloomy predictions that our economic policies would deliver mass and rising unemployment? Instead, they have delivered record levels of new jobs for young people in her constituency.
Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West and Abingdon) (Con): I do indeed. I can also tell those young people that we are investing in their future through the Oxfordshire city deal and growth deal—not through centrally mandated planning committees, but through universities, local further education colleges, and future employers—and that local authorities of all stripes are working together to develop our own long-term local economic plan. We are targeting that funding exactly where it will stimulate growth and jobs—infrastructure, skills training, local business support, and urgently needed housing and flood defences. That twin message of more jobs and growth alongside targeted local investment is possible only because of the essential precondition mentioned by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke). Incredibly difficult decisions on spending cuts across Government have been made with one end in sight: reducing our deficit while reforming our public services and protecting front-line services. That is why I support the motion.
Mr Redwood: Did my hon. Friend hear the shadow Chancellor make it clear that not only does Labour not think that the current debt is excessive, but it would carry on increasing the debt every year of the next Parliament if it was leading it?
David Rutley (Macclesfield) (Con): It always does. It is as if there is a drug that Labour is addicted to called “debt”; they cannot get away from it.