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Budget Statement - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton Minister of State (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 7:30 pm, 18th March 2020

Yes, of course. I am afraid I have not had time to answer various noble Lords’ specific questions, so I will ensure that they are all copied in to my replies.

To sum up, there have been many calls today for the Government to move faster—not just by putting more money into the system but by being ever more restrictive of people’s liberty and way of life. Indeed, I was at a meeting with the Prime Minister last night. He said to the assembled group, “Even in the war, we didn’t stop people going to the pub.” We have to try to bring the country with us as we do some of the most profound things to happen in our lifetime.

I want to finish on a slightly more positive note. For those noble Lords interested in history, it is worth remembering that it was in difficult times like this that the Education Act 1944 was introduced for its Second Reading that January, nearly five months before D-day and nearly 18 months before the war was won. Parliament had the vision then to introduce legislation that would change the lives of young people in peacetime well before we had any sense that we had achieved peace. I hope we will be able to look back on this Budget in 18 months’ time and say something similar, but for the whole economy and everyone who lives in Britain.

Motion agreed.

House adjourned at 7.58 pm.