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Part of Finance (No. 3) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 19th November 2018.

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Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart Conservative, Brentwood and Ongar 6:45 pm, 19th November 2018

As ever, my hon. Friend puts it extremely well. “Wise after the event” might be one of the Labour party’s mottos.

I am pleased to welcome, in clauses 41 and 42, further improvements to stamp duty to help more people to get on the housing ladder and buy the homes that they so richly deserve. Those measures will put more money into the system and encourage the building of more homes, to allow us to progress down the route of building what must be built for the home owning democracy.

Alongside that, I was pleased to see an additional £1.7 billion being put into universal credit, to give the poorest people in society more money in their pockets—money that benefits them and flows straight into the economy. I take this opportunity to thank my right hon. Friend Ms McVey, who is not in her place, for her service as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. She did her job extremely well. It was under her leadership that a number of improvements were made to universal credit and this decision to put an additional £1.7 billion into the service was concluded. That Secretary of State bore her unfair share of personal criticism while she was in that job; the person rather than the issue was often played. Although I fully take on board the remarks made by Thelma Walker about the desire of that great Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee for a caring society, when I have seen and heard some of the slander thrown at my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton, I have had to wonder whether all parts of the left are really as caring as Clement Attlee would have had them.