Autumn Statement

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:25 pm on 3rd December 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:25 pm, 3rd December 2014

Today we have increased the personal allowance, which increases the number of low-paid people taken out of income tax to 3.5 million.

It is interesting to look at the caricature of what is happening in this country that Labour Members have tried to present. They said that all the jobs were part-time; it turns out that 85% of them are full-time. They talked about the gender pay gap; of course that remains a challenge, but it is at its lowest level in British history, and has fallen since the period of the last Labour Government. They complained about the abuse of zero-hours contracts; I had to sit there for 13 years listening to Labour Chancellors, and never once did they introduce a reform of zero-hours contracts. That reform is now taking place, and we are ending the abuse that comes with the exclusive contracts.

Ultimately, the people who suffer most when the economy fails—when economic stability is destroyed and unemployment rises—are the poorest people in the country. That, sadly, was their experience under a Labour Government, but under this Government, employment is growing and economic security is returning.