The Economy

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 4th June 2015.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State 12:45 pm, 4th June 2015

There was a very good intervention which pointed out that there was a 40p rate for almost the entire period of Labour government. But let me say this. My tax priorities are clear: to raise the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000. Those are my priorities and they will be reflected in the Budgets presented from this Dispatch Box.

The shadow Chancellor is a thoughtful man. Last weekend, he gave an interview to The Guardian, in which he tried to pinpoint what went wrong. This was his conclusion:

“It’s the Which? magazine strata of society that somehow we just didn’t understand”.

To be honest, I would stop worrying about Which? magazine and start focusing on which leader. There are four members of the Labour Treasury team. Three have backed different potential Labour leaders and the shadow Chancellor has led from the front by deciding that he is not going to back anyone at all. The truth is that it does not matter which of the leaders they pick—none of them understands the aspirations of working people because, in the devastating words of the right hon.

Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper), Labour has become the “anti-worker” party. That is what she said. That is a quote that I suspect we will hear again in this Chamber in the coming years.