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Clause 2 - Personal allowance for 2013-14 for those born after 5 April 1948

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 23rd April 2013.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary 4:15 pm, 23rd April 2013

Once again, my hon. Friend makes a valuable point. If one looks at our policy of increasing the personal allowance and then also looks at our welfare reforms, it is very clear that we are determined to do everything we can to make work pay, which was something that the previous Government simply failed to do. That is one of the negative legacies that we were left with, and it is right that we should try to address that. Yes, there are cost of living pressures, but can we honestly say as a Government that we can deal with all of those pressures simply by borrowing more money? No, we cannot, because the reality is that what will really damage living standards over a long period of time is economic instability and an unsustainable fiscal position. That is, I am afraid, what the Opposition are advocating. The sooner they depart from that approach, the better it will be for them.