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

My hon. Friend is right: there is a sharp contrast between what the Conservatives say and do now and what they did in office. We remember the 22 tax rises and the VAT increases that they promised not to introduce. This Government have kept every promise that we have made on tax. [Laughter.] We have cut the basic rate of tax and have not raised the upper rate. We have introduced the 10p rate and cut VAT on fuel. Opposition Members will not be laughing when they go to the electorate on the subject of real living standards, because year on year under this Government, take-home pay after direct and indirect tax has been rising—I am allowing for everything—by £400 or more a year, whereas under the Conservative Government it increased by less than £300 a year.