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The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 4:41 pm, 24th October 2019

There were around 39 speeches today, so obviously I cannot go through them all, but I would like to thank Sir Michael Fallon—although, given all the cuts we have had under the Tory Government, I am surprised it is not “Sixoaks”—for his support for Labour’s policy on share ownership. I also offer my congratulations to Mel Stride on his appointment to the Treasury Committee, and commiserations to Kevin Hollinrake.

Sir Edward Davey said that the Liberal Democrats were the yellow party. They certainly were the yellow party, in that they did not stand up to the Tories when they were in coalition with them. That is the sort of yellow party they actually are. So I will not be taking any sermonising whatever from that shower at the back of me—none whatsoever.

May I say to my hon. Friend Albert Owen, thank you for all the work that you have done, given that this is your last Queen’s Speech—and yours was an excellent speech too.

The Chancellor’s performance was excruciating. Judging by the faces of the Members sitting on his side of the House after he had made it, I thought I had walked into an embalmers’ and morticians’ conference. Thinking of the global banking crisis, does he not remember collateralised debt obligations—otherwise known as financial weapons of mass destruction? Has he forgotten that he had a great part in promoting them? That is the cause of the global financial crisis—reckless speculation, dependence on credit and grossly unequal distribution of income. It applies to this day. [Interruption.] Members on his side of the House may mutter all they want; that is the fact. They and their friends were the cause of the global crisis, not this side of the House—[Interruption.] Not this side of the House.

The topic today is the economy—an economy that the Tories are in the process of systematically wrecking. As many have pointed out today, after nine years in charge of the economy, their strategy has proven to be a total failure. Nine years of austerity, combined with Tory infighting over who can deliver the worst Brexit for our economy, has made us all poorer. Wages have stagnated. The queues at food banks have grown almost as long as the incoherent responses of the Prime Minister at PMQs.