CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

TREASURY – BORROWING 'BLACK HOLE' – 10 March 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: What representations the Chancellor of the Exchequer has received regarding levels of Government net borrowing?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] In his earlier answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Louth and Horncastle (Sir Peter Tapsell), the Chancellor painted a rather rosy picture of what the IMF said about the British economy and its borrowing. In fact, the [IMF] report said that many directors viewed the British authorities' projections to be "somewhat more optimistic" than warranted. Does not the build-up to a £10 billion black hole mean that the Chancellor is going to leave a pretty poor legacy to his successor, whether it be my right hon. Friend the Shadow Chancellor or – perish the thought – the Chancellor's own special pal, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster?