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Andrew Mitchell MP on the Budget

I am most grateful for the views expressed throughout Sutton Coldfield about the Budget and wanted to write to you personally about the Government’s decisions and the reasons behind them.

The Budget is tough but it is also fair. It is a decisive budget that deals with the record deficit the Government inherited from Labour, who left behind one of the largest deficits in Europe.

Thanks to their incompetence, we are now borrowing one pound for every four we spend – increasing our national debt by £3 billion a week. The crisis in the Euro zone shows that the consequences of not acting are severe – higher interest rates, sharper rises in unemployment and potentially even the end of the recovery.

This is just one of the reasons why the new Coalition Government is now taking the unavoidable tough decisions that the Governor of the Bank of England and the G20 called for and that Labour ducked.

The budget is a thoughtful plan to pay for the bills of the past while planning for our future prosperity. At the heart of George Osborne's Budget are three principles: responsibility, freedom and fairness.

We will bring sense and sanity back to the public finances by reducing our deficit by an extra £40 billion over the next five years. The majority of this will come from spending cuts - though as we always said, we will protect the NHS and international aid budgets. However, tax rises are required too. This is something none of us want to see but there is a high price to pay for Labour's incompetence, so we will be increasing VAT to 20 per cent from January 2011.

To encourage the economic growth needed to create jobs and opportunities we need to get enterprise flourishing again, so we will cut red tape, stop Labour's jobs tax, reduce corporation tax rates, improve our infrastructure and redevelop Birmingham’s New Street Station, support a low-carbon economy and spread new industries to every corner of the country.

Ultimately it is a fair budget that aims to strengthen and unite the country, as my colleague George Osborne said, we are all in this together. So we will ensure that every part of society makes a contribution to deficit reduction while protecting the most vulnerable, including low income families and pensioners.

Just as all Labour Governments end in economic failure, so it’s left to the next government to clean up after them. The Coalition Government will do this in a way that is open, responsible and fair. We will carry out Britain's unavoidable deficit reduction plan in a way that strengthens and unites the country and clean up Labour’s mess.

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