Debate on the Address — [1st day]

Part of Outlawries Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:03 pm on 27th May 2015.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 4:03 pm, 27th May 2015

That is a bit rich from the party that crashed the car and did all the damage to living standards in 2008. Would I like it to be going faster? You bet I would like it to be going faster, and so I am sure would the Prime Minister, but it has to go at a pace that can be achievable without taking risks and making it worse in the way that Labour did.

My party is not the party of low pay. We want people to be better paid. It is just that we have an economic policy that may deliver better pay; the Labour Government’s policy clearly did not, because they drove people out of work. They abolished the bonuses and they drove wages down by their dreadful recession, and that recession was caused by a combination of their mistaken economic policy and, above all, their mistaken misregulation of the banks. They should have stuck with the regulation of the banks we had before ’97. We never did anything like that with the banking system. We never had a run on a major bank under the Conservatives. We never had a big recession created by a banking crash. Labour needs to understand the history and understand that in future we have to follow different policies to try to avoid that.

I also wish to speak for England. I am very pleased that the Gracious Speech says that there will be early progress in making sure that those MPs elected for England can make more of the decisions that relate only to England. I hear that the SNP are already saying that that should be in legislation. I think it is entirely right that in the first instance it should be done by amending the Standing Orders of this House of Commons. It can be done simply and quickly, and it is judge-proof and it is proof against challenges from outside this place. If we want a sovereign Parliament, sometimes this Parliament has to act in a sovereign way, and surely we can be sovereign over our own votes and procedures.