Cost of Living

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:39 pm on 14th May 2013.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 6:39 pm, 14th May 2013

No, I cannot give way; I would love to, but time is short.

What the Government are doing fails the fundamental test of what a Government should be doing in hard times, which is to help those who have least. We see that in the biggest cuts falling on the most deprived local authorities, in the lack of action in this Gracious Speech to help the rising number of long-term unemployed young people, in the lack of action to cap rail fares and in the Government’s failure to deal with the energy market, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley said. That is the judgment that will be made of the Gracious Speech. It does not rise to the challenges that we face, it will not restore confidence in the Government, it will not help those who need help most, and it reminds us why this coalition, as it ekes out its remaining two years in increasing disharmony, was not the answer to the crisis of confidence in the first place. I urge the House to support the amendment.