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Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons on 1st October 2019.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

I did not ask about the Chancellor’s record at Deutsche Bank; I never asked about the products he was selling that brought about the financial crash.

Let me tell the Chancellor what the figure 120,000 means. It is the number of deaths linked by the British Medical Journal to the Conservatives’ cuts since they came to power in 2010. No amount of spin will wash away the memory of nine years of this scale of human suffering. He claimed yesterday:

“We believe in a society where everyone knows that if they work hard, and play by the rules then they will have every opportunity to succeed.”

But isn’t it true that the Conservatives have broken the link between people working and being able to lift themselves out of poverty, when 70% of our children living in poverty are in households where someone is at work? And isn’t it the case that, despite the Chancellor’s pathetic attempt yesterday at playing catch-up to Labour party policy, under the Tories’ plans no one will reach the Tories’ target minimum wage until five years from now? And isn’t it the truth that, with this Chancellor and Prime Minister in charge, the Conservatives will always be the party of tax avoiders, bankers and the super-rich?