Budget Resolutions - Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:14 pm on 14th March 2017.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for Education 2:14 pm, 14th March 2017

This Government are about delivering opportunity—the opportunities that matter to ordinary working people up and down this country: the opportunity to work in a skilled, well-paying career; the opportunity to send their children to a good school; and the opportunity to contribute to a shared, fairer society, where everyone is empowered to do their best for their community.

Those ambitions are not too much for us to ask—they are not unreasonable—but the truth is that, for too long, too many people in our country have felt cut off from opportunity. They see doors open for others, but stay closed for them. What they want is the chance to show their worth and reach their potential. This Government want them to reach their potential, too, so we will work with the grain of human nature to spread opportunity to every village, town, city and region in our country and to give everyone a chance to succeed and to contribute to a strong, united nation.

A strong economy is a vital part of that mission. A strong economy provides the careers and jobs that equip people with financial independence, protect them by providing financial security over the course of their life, and fill them with a sense of self-worth—the knowledge that we all have a role and a valued place at the heart of our society. A strong economy is at the heart of how people can contribute to our country as a whole.

This Government are in the business of building a strong economy and creating great careers and jobs—over two million jobs since 2010. This year, there are more people working than ever before. The employment rate for women is at its highest level since records began, with 70% of 16 to 64-year-olds now in work. That represents more than 1 million more women in employment since 2010.

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