Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 6th July 2010.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 5:15 pm, 6th July 2010

I was empathising with the hon. Gentleman until his final sentence. As he will know, over the past 10 to 15 years up to 2006, just four countries out of the entire 20 or 30 members of the OECD succeeded in reversing inequality. They were Turkey, Ireland, Mexico and the United Kingdom. The attack on inequality was always a central mission for the Labour Government. Yes, of course we wanted to go further, but we were proud of our record of lifting 900,000 pensioners and 500,000 children out of poverty, of legislating to restore the earnings link and of introducing innovations such as tax credits. In constituencies like mine-and, I suggest, the hon. Gentleman's-which suffer from a high rate of unemployment, that help is beginning to make a difference. That is why we are so passionate in our objection to the attack on the poorest people in this country contained in this Budget.

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