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Tories vote with Labour on Pre Budget Report

Confusion reigned in The House as the Conservatives decided to vote with Labour to ensure that there wasn't a vote on the Pre Budget Report. Personally I think they didn't know what was going on and will regret this in the future. Some came into the aye lobby and wandered out again. Technically there was a vote to have a vote 30 seconds before the end of the debate against which Labour and the Tories voted.

On the substantive issue there is a need for investment to bring back confidence into the economy (which is what it needs). The word "kick start" is misleading in that sense.

Looking through the PBR itself, however, the government seem to be ignoring £70,000,000,000 of debt (not precisely), £37bn of bank funding and £33bn of off-balance sheet - Enron style government debt. (I have those figures from a March report of 505 off balance sheet PFI projects). We are committed to paying £156bn over the next 30 years for all the PFI projects which has a net present value of £86bn. The capital value, however, is recorded at just under £33bn.

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