Spending Round 2019

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:43 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Father of the House of Commons 1:43 pm, 4th September 2019

I genuinely welcome my right hon. Friend to his appointment and congratulate him on it, and I sincerely wish him every success in carrying out his extremely important duties. I also welcome the many spending announcements he made. In particular, I single out further education, to which successive Governments have been trying to give better priority for the last 30 or 40 years. I hope that it shows in effect. Will he reassure me that the announcements that he has made are consistent with the fiscal rules of his predecessors, that we are still subject to the same limits on the deficit that were laid down, and that he is still aiming to achieve year-by-year reductions in debt as a proportion of GDP? If he can give me those assurances, it demonstrates what he has just said: that he is able to make these welcome announcements because austerity has been brought to an end by the achievements of his two predecessors over the last nine years.