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

My hon. Friend raises an important point. We need to understand that flexible working must be able to adapt to the different lives that people lead today, not just at one point in their life but as it changes, which happens to all of us through our working lives and careers.

Of course, International Women’s Day was last week, and I thought it was a sign of how important that day has become in our calendar that the Chancellor chose to mark it by making it Budget day. We have our second woman in No. 10 Downing Street, and I am proud that both female Prime Ministers have been Conservative Prime Ministers. There is a long way still to go, but we should celebrate the important progress that has been made. Nearly 100 years after women were first given the vote, the Chancellor has set aside £5 million to celebrate that historic event.

This Budget continues the Government’s mission to spread opportunity to every part of the country. That mission rests on a strong, stable economy that provides the careers and jobs that will lead to financial independence and success for a new generation, and a sense of place and meaning in people’s lives. We cannot be complacent. There will be more challenges to come, but by investing in a world-class system of technical education, alongside schools, lifelong learning and returnships, the Government have taken a crucial step in underwriting the flow of skills that our country and our businesses need. We will level up opportunity. We will lift our country by lifting up our young people, and this breakthrough Budget on skills and schools merits the support of this House.