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Government Economic and Social Policy

Part of Orders of the Day — Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 7:10 pm on 9th June 1993.

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Photo of Mr John Townend Mr John Townend , Bridlington 7:10 pm, 9th June 1993

The hon. lady makes a relevant point. No, they do not. We all pay the same tax, so it is unfair that over the years excessive sums have been spent in Wales and Northern Ireland. There is one exception for Northern Ireland: I accept the need for higher expenditure on law and order there.

We must examine the social security budget, however hard it is to do so. We are not the only country that is having that problem. Germany is having it; the Germans are having to consider their swollen social security budget, and France is having the same problem. We are spending £60 billion a year. Anybody who deals with social security will tell us that more and more people are playing the system and abusing it.