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 Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:17 pm, 13th March 2019

We have seen the proportion of people on low pay falling to its lowest level in 20 years. I have already mentioned the statistics on the number of people in work, and I agree with him that being in work is the only sustainable way out of poverty. He is right: the previous Labour Government left 1.4 million people languishing on out-of-work benefits, and anyone who thinks that that is a good outcome—[Interruption.] Absolutely true: they should be ashamed of themselves. I can assure my hon. Friends that this issue is high on our agenda, and that we are looking at ways of maintaining the record we have built up, which is exactly the one I want to deliver.