§ Mr. Meacher
Is it not the case that the Prime Minister's record on inflation—down from 22 to 4 per cent. and then rising to 6 to 7 per cent. — is almost identical with that of the Labour Government — down from 26 to 7 per cent. then rising to 9 to 10 per cent.? Is not the real difference between the right hon. Lady and the Labour Government the fact that for exactly the same record on inflation she has brought about a three times greater rise in unemployment plus an 8 per cent. fall in living standards since 1979, compared with a 13 per cent. rise in living standards under Labour? Is that not the true measure of her failure?
§ The Prime Minister
No. The hon. Gentleman cannot in any way challenge our record on inflation. The Labour Government did not get anywhere near a 5.3 per cent. rate of inflation, which is the present figure. New figures will come out tomorrow. The figure last month was 4.9, and at the moment it is 5.3. The hon. Gentleman cannot mention any figure in the last 12 years that came near to that. What is more, under his Government inflation went up to 26.9 per cent., far above our worst, which was 21.9 per cent. Thus, his worst was far worse than ours and his best was nowhere near as good as ours.