Savings Ratio

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th January 2001.

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Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:00 am, 25th January 2001

The answer to the hon. Gentleman's first question is yes. On what is happening to household finances, he and his colleagues would do well to make a rounded assessment, because what is happening—and this is the experience of ordinary, hard-working families at whom Opposition Members sneer—is that we have rising real living standards, going up very much faster than under the Conservatives; household wealth at record levels; and household debt as a proportion of that household wealth actually falling. So consumers, householders and hard-working families are very much better off than they were under the Conservatives. It is our platform for stability and sustainable growth that provides the best basis for savings in the future, not the cuts, stop-go, boom-bust instability offered by the Conservative party.