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 look forward to the hon. Gentleman telling us later how the increase in VAT is going to support the argument that he is trying to prosecute. I hope that he will also reflect on the cost of this Budget to jobs. The official figures for job cuts as a result of this Budget are bad enough, but the real figures are even worse. We have already watched the extraordinary spectacle of the Office for Budget Responsibility tell the Chancellor that employment will be 100,000 lower as a result of Budget measures, but then the real figures were published in The Guardian-not in this House, but in The Guardian-from which we learned that secret Treasury papers say that the Budget will cost 1.3 million jobs over the next five years. When the Chancellor stood at that Dispatch Box a couple of weeks ago, he told us that he would not hide things in the "small print" and that he would give it to us "straight"; he was so straight and so open that he kept the Treasury advice out of the Budget altogether. Yet even that picture might not reflect the entirety of the Budget's impact.

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