National Insurance Contributions Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:20 pm on 4th November 2013.

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Photo of Sheila Gilmore Sheila Gilmore Labour, Edinburgh East 5:20 pm, 4th November 2013

It is a pleasure to follow Ian Swales. As so often when members of his party speak in these debates, they talk about what was happening to the economy in the period before the general election and after it as if they were two completely different things. Many of the views the hon. Gentleman has just expressed were certainly not those on which he and his party leader stood, so far as the manifesto is concerned, in the period leading up to the election.

Anyone walking into this debate would think that it was yet another general debate on the economy—and, indeed, on the record of the last Government. Now that we are three and a half years into this Government, that seems somewhat strange. To me, it looks like diversionary tactics. Government Members are saying, “Let’s not talk about what we’ve done; let’s hark back yet again not just to the previous Government, but to proposals that never even came into effect”, suggesting that those proposals were somehow the cause of our economic difficulties. That clearly could not be the case.