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In listening to the debate today, and certainly yesterday, I was interested to note that George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth is still alive and well and speaking through the Chancellor of the Exchequer. His relentless Newspeak mantra that we are all in it together just will not wash. When we consider that poverty is increasing, unemployment is going up, and the Government Benches are stuffed full of millionaires and people who are doing extremely well for themselves, it is complete and utter nonsense to suggest that we are all in it together.
It is not only wrong to suggest that for those reasons, but because the cuts are very unevenly spread, and depending on which part of the country someone happens to be from, a different level of cuts are being imposed. They are far greater in the more deprived parts than in the more affluent parts. The reality is that the poorest people in Britain will bear the biggest burden of the cuts imposed by this Administration.
According to a new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the British people are suffering the biggest drop in their living standards for 30 years. It is no coincidence that 30 years ago another Tory Government presided over the last drop in living standards. The Business Secretary said today that he was happy to have the worst public services in the G7 countries by 2014-15. What an admission from a member of a party that used to claim to be a progressive party that stood up for ordinary working people! Clearly, that is a long way in the past.