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Clause 1 — Equalisation of and increase in pensionable age for men and women

Part of Concessionary Bus Travel (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 18th October 2011.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 5:00 pm, 18th October 2011

I welcome the hon. Gentleman to his place. I am wondering whether he taught my son, who is still at Oxford, as now I am really worried. Let me ask him a simple question. The simple fact is that he is getting confused. His argument was originally about the deficit and it has now drifted, rightly, into being about debt. However, debt is not some esoteric issue. If we do not pay off that debt and have a plan to pay it off, all our interest charges rise. The key thing is that it stacks up. Whether or not it is one 1,000th—or whatever he calculates—we have to make a start. We are making a major start on debt repayment. If, as he says, we are talking about only—as he says—£1 billion a year, he needs to tell us where he is going to find this sophisticated £1 billion to replace it?