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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 3:30 pm on 23rd April 2013.

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Photo of Brooks Newmark Brooks Newmark Conservative, Braintree 3:30 pm, 23rd April 2013

I am pointing out what the Government are doing and what the benefits have been to individuals, particularly on low pay. That is what is important. We went off on a tangent with a digression on the spare room subsidy. I do not think that is directly relevant but it has an impact. To reiterate the point I made to the hon. Member for East Lothian, we all have to reflect on the fact that Labour had 13 years to build extra social housing. That extra housing capacity was not built, which has left us with today’s problem.

I acknowledge that there is a shortage of housing and it is difficult for people to downsize in particular areas of the country. However, I want the Opposition to acknowledge the principle that those people who are not on benefits, who live in the private sector, either have to downsize if they can or they take in a lodger. Those are the choices in the private sector. I do not think that people on benefits should be treated as special cases. They have to live in the real world in the same way as people in the private sector.