[Un-allotted Half Day] — Future Government Spending

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:12 pm on 4th March 2015.

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Photo of Brooks Newmark Brooks Newmark Conservative, Braintree 4:12 pm, 4th March 2015

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. That is why we had an emergency Budget which laid out clearly our long-term economic plan.

Let us consider our record in government since we picked up the pieces that were left by the last Government. As my hon. Friend has just said, we have halved the deficit. That is important, because it has kept interest rates low for mortgage-holders and for business. Income tax has been cut for 25 million people, by about £705 per person. The personal allowance has been raised from £6,500 to £10,600, and some 3.4 million people have been taken out of tax altogether. Benefits have been capped to reward hard-working people. Employment is up, and youth unemployment is down. The Million Jobs campaign, which I put together, managed to persuade the Chancellor to abolish national insurance payments for those who hired people under 21. That has paid dividends, because it has accelerated the decline in youth unemployment. The state pension is also up by £800. Fuel duty has been frozen. Energy costs are down. Overall, wages now are rising higher than inflation; on the latest statistics, total pay is up by 2.1%, whereas inflation is only up by 0.9%.