The Economy

Part of Council Tax Rebate – in the House of Commons at 3:49 pm on 31st March 2009.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:49 pm, 31st March 2009

I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman, as he will appreciate. In the past 10 years we have increased the state pension, we have introduced the pension credit, which is helping millions of pensioners by matching hard-earned savings, and we have taken many more pensioners out of tax. We will continue to do everything we can to help older people, because that is the right thing to do.

I believe that at a time like this, Governments across the world need to take action. They need to support their economies. Yes, of course they must take action to ensure that they live within their means in the medium term, but we must also ensure that we support our economies, continue to get credit going again and sort out the banking system: together, internationally, we must get international trade going again. We need to do everything we can to help the emerging markets and to prevent people from falling into poverty, because that would be a scandal.

There is a moral imperative on every one of us to do everything we can, both here and abroad, to make sure that we help people in this difficult time. We are committed to doing that. The sad fact is that the Conservatives will be committed to doing nothing. I look forward to hearing exactly why.

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