Autumn Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:27 pm on 22 November 2023.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Father of the House of Commons 1:27, 22 November 2023

The Citizens Advice office covering my constituency will be grateful for that fact that the local housing allowance has been changed. The people who supply drink, and drinkers, will be pleased that alcohol duty is being frozen, at least for the time being. That will help drinkers, and will also not increase inflation.

I am glad that the Chancellor pointed out to the shadow Chancellor that the only time the Labour Government did really well was when they obeyed the Conservative rules between 1998 and 1999, before they let go of the valves and drove the economy to the point at which, when we took over, they were spending £4 for every £3 of Government revenue.

May I now ask the Chancellor to respond, not today but in time, to an injustice done to 500,000 pensioners overseas? Anne Puckridge, who was born five years before the Chancellor’s father, served in intelligence in the Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force during the war, and retired to Calgary on a pension of £72 a week. It is still £72, instead of £156. That is an injustice which needs attention, and I hope Anne Puckridge will get it and we will have proposals that will enable us to change this bad situation.