Orders of the Day — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 10th March 1999.

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Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Paymaster General (HM Treasury) 9:45 pm, 10th March 1999

I do not have time to give way. I apologise to the hon. Gentleman.

The Budget is about raising productivity on a foundation of stability. We must work to raise productivity. We must deliver better skills, innovation, competition, information technology and a secure environment for small businesses. Yesterday's Budget introduced seven major reforms for a knowledge-based enterprise economy, opening it up for all. The Budget invests in families by ensuring that the new children's tax credit will maximise support to those families with the lowest income. It raises child benefit, which the Conservatives froze, to a higher level than at any time since its introduction.

The Budget gives a fair deal to pensioners, with £100 for the winter payment and a guaranteed minimum income which will be linked to earnings. It will build a better society, which will ensure that we have a fairer society in which we support each other and ensure that there is opportunity for all to fulfil their potential. The Budget is about making sure that nobody is excluded; everybody should be included in the prosperity of our nation.

The Budget is about helping the British people. Conservative Members are interested only in helping themselves. When they talk about the Budget, they deny their past and want to take the credit for our future. They will be sorely disappointed. This is a popular Budget. It has been widely recognised as such and welcomed by this country as a way forward for the Labour Government.