Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Will Take the Tough Decisions; ALISTAIR DARLING

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Will Take the Tough Decisions; ALISTAIR DARLING

Article excerpt

YESTERDAY I set out the Government's three-point plan for Britain's future: securing recovery and going for growth, taking tough choices to halve the deficit in four years and protect vital frontline public services.

Our actions will not be painless, but nor are they reckless. The Pre-Budget Report is a balanced package that is the best approach for long term economic stability, underpinned, as always, by our core values of fairness and responsibility.

And it's the right plan both for Britain and for the North East.

Every country in the world and every region in every country has been affected by the worst global economic crisis in more than half a centur y. I know in the North East the recession has been tough. Every job lost has a deep personal effect, every home repossessed is a family crisis and every business that goes under is a dream shattered. But as a result of our determination to make a difference, gloomy predications a year ago on the likely levels of unemployment, repossessions and company insolvencies have not materialised.

And we have stopped the recession becoming a depression. All along, we have refused to stand by and allow another generation in the North East to be written off and communities in the North East abandoned.

Because the recovery is still fragile, we will continue to help young people, families and businesses.

Having stabilised the economy, though, our priority must now turn to how we ensure economic expansion for the years to come, and how we lock in the benefits of that growth. The measures I announced yesterday will give small businesses in the North East, which are the backbone of the regional economy, the room to flourish even in challenging times.

And by investing in new green technologies we will be able to capitalise on the potential for the North East offered by the necessary switch to a low carbon economy. …

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