Brown has no plan for economic crisis, says Cameron

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Tory leader David Cameron warned today that the Government's fiscal rules were "dead" and Gordon Brown had no plan to tackle the economic crisis.

In stormy Commons question time exchanges, Mr Cameron said the Prime Minister had been "caught irresponsibly spinning about irresponsible spending".

He said: "Thousands of people are losing their homes and their jobs because your irresponsible boom has now turned to bust."

But Mr Brown insisted his fiscal rules had been "met" over the last 10 years and he was not prepared to be lectured by the Opposition.

He said it was right for the Government to borrow to support spending during the economic downturn.

The Tories, he said, were not prepared for Government. "They are not even prepared for Opposition."

Earlier, Mr Brown disclosed that there would be further announcements on Government action after a meeting with the banks tomorrow.

He was replying to Labour's Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich W) who said small businesses were suffering from high raw material prices, high energy prices and in some cases reduced demand.

"Can you tell me what steps you are taking to ensure the support we have given to the banks is reflected in the support the banks give to small businesses during this difficult time?"

Mr Brown said he was right. "Central to the recovery of jobs is the resumption of lending of banks to businesses.

"It's not only a national problem but a problem in many countries ...

"We have all taken measures to recapitalise our banks and to ensure stability. We continue to work on increasing access to funding.

"Having recapitalised the banks we want to ensure that they will extend availability of credit at competitive prices.

"Further announcements will be made tomorrow when we have a meeting with the banks. We are also considering new mechanisms by which, for example, the European Investment Bank can give financial support where traditional institutions are not able to do so.

"And we urge banks not to change the terms and charges for existing lending to small businesses in our country.

"It is right that fiscal policy supports monetary policy at this time."