Spring Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough 1:17 pm, 13th March 2019

May I ask the Chancellor’s view on the question of poverty? Under the previous Labour Government, we saw 1 million men and women thrown on the dole. Under this Government, unemployment is down to its lowest rate for 40 years. Yet we hear the argument from the Opposition that work is not the way out of poverty; only spending ever more on benefits is the answer. Am I correct in noting that, in reality, when a workless couple move from being out of work into full-time work, their chances of being in poverty drop from 38% to a negligible less than 1%, so work is the way out of poverty? What assessment has the Chancellor made of the combined effects of cutting taxes for the lowest-paid, reducing unemployment to the lowest level for 40 years and the new national living wage, and what assessment has he made of his intention to go further today in boosting the proud achievement of the national living wage of reducing poverty further?