Poverty

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th February 1970.

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Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton 12:00 am, 17th February 1970

The right hon. Gentleman will have studied enough economic affairs in the last 24 hours to know that the economic crisis is not self-made by those on this side of the House. Right hon. Members opposite made it and we cured it. Until his last few words he was addressing himself to a very serious problem and a very serious report, the report of the Child Poverty Action Group. As I said, we had to give attention first to long-neglected problems of the old people, widows and others, and only late in the day were we able to find resources for dealing with large families through family allowances. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will repudiate Tories who up and down the country try to make political capital out of the increase in family allowances. After what he has said, I am sure that he will do so. I do not accept that the position of the low-incomes group is worse than when we came into office. It has been a question of priorities and I think we have now got our priorities right. I would be very concerned—this is a very hypothetical question—about the effect on poverty over a very much wider range if the right hon. Gentleman's policies, when we know what they are, were to be carried out.