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Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:48 pm on 20th October 2015.

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Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary 2:48 pm, 20th October 2015

I am not giving way again, as many people want to speak and I am coming towards the end of my remarks.

The number of people in in-work poverty is 200,000 lower than it was at its peak in 2008-09. Let me remind Members of the surest way to create poverty and to dash the aspirations of working families up and down the country. It is to lose control of the public finances. We are making sure that that never happens again. We are driving down the deficit; we have set out the path towards surplus; and through our Charter for Budget Responsibility, we are making sure that we insulate ourselves against any future shocks the world economy might throw at us. We do all this while delivering a new settlement for working Britain—one where decent wages are not subsidised by the public purse, but met by employers; one that says to employers, “You can have very competitive tax, but you must pay your people properly”; one that allows hard-working people to keep more of the money they earn; and one that offers a way out of reliance on benefits and top-ups through work that pays.

Those have not been easy decisions to make, but we face a £3,300 per household deficit, and if we reduce the level of state support people are inevitably affected. But tough decisions become necessary decisions when we are working towards the most important and the most progressive goal of all—economic security for working Britain in an uncertain world. Our new settlement for working Britain is an integral part of that. We will continue down the path of economic security, stability and opportunity for working Britain.