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Pre-Budget Report

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:29 pm on 24th November 2008.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:29 pm, 24th November 2008

My hon. Friend makes an extremely powerful point, because many people in this country remember what happened in communities up and down the country in the early 1980s and the early 1990s, when people lost their jobs, went on to unemployment benefit, then on to incapacity benefit and never went back to work again. I know that he represents just such an area, and the indifference and the uncaring attitude struck by the Conservative party has left scars there and in many parts of the country that it has taken years to get over.

I agree with my hon. Friend— [ Interruption. ] And I profoundly disagree with Mr. Binley, who shouts from a sedentary position. I cannot believe that the Conservatives want to get themselves into that situation—to ignore the problems faced by many of our citizens, who expect their Government to act for them. I find that very hard to believe.

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