Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:11 pm on 6th July 2010.

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Photo of Helen Jones Helen Jones Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Justice) 6:11 pm, 6th July 2010

My hon. Friend is right. It will also cause huge damage to social housing providers, who will face more and more arrears. That is the problem with the Finance Bill and with the Budget. They do nothing to create the jobs that the Government tell us we need, and they squeeze the poorest.

Let us look at what the Government plan for disabled people. The vast majority of people with disabilities would like nothing better than to have a job, and the previous Government did much to get them back into work. However, this Government plan what they call a simpler process-something that they say will reduce dependency and promote work. But the major flaw is that getting people with disabilities back into work is not a simple process. What happens to those with fluctuating conditions or mental health problems? They cannot be assessed by a simple test; that is exactly the point. We are bound to conclude that it is simply an exercise in cutting the budget by £1.4 billion.

There will be no jobs if we go down the road suggested by the Bill. At the end of that road, we encounter the risk of a double-dip recession, billions being taken out of the economy, the poorest and their spending attacked and reduced, and major cuts in benefits. That will not support the economy; it will undermine the growth of the economy. I say to my hon. Friends that this Finance Bill risks devastating the economy, dividing communities and producing the kind of recession that we saw in the 1980s. That is not a risk that we Labour Members are prepared to take, and that is why we will vote against the Bill.

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