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The sooner that deal can be announced and that commitment can be made by the UK Government, the better for the industry. Confidence is still shoogly just now, and although that confidence is rebuilding, we need clear commitments for the industry and the clear support of the UK Government so that the industry feels more secure and takes decisions on investment and exploration. That is why signing a sector deal as soon as possible would be hugely appreciated.
More generally, one of the things that infuriates and frustrates me about this UK Government particularly is that they think that if they stand up and invent a new definition for something, it will immediately become true. They have decided that if they say “living wage” instead of “minimum wage”, people will actually be able to live on it. That is not how it works. People still cannot live on it, even if the Government call it a living wage, and that is especially the case for the under-25s, who are not eligible for the living wage. It does not cost someone who is 24 less to live than someone who is 25. The Government need to get rid of those differential rates.
The UK Government say that they have ended austerity. By anyone else’s definition, they have not ended austerity. Just because they say, “We’ve ended austerity,” it does not mean that they have actually ended austerity. There are still cuts to Government Departments. There is still the benefits freeze. We still have all those issues.