Jacob Rees-Mogg: It is a great pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk (Matthew Hancock) in making a maiden speech in this debate. He made a fantastic maiden speech and we all now know to be very careful where we blow our noses in his constituency. It is a great honour for my family for me to be elected for North East Somerset. My father-or my noble kinsman, Lord Rees-Mogg, as I am now...
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Will the Chancellor consider asking the Office for Budget Responsibility to think about tax cuts to help economic growth, thereby bringing our budgetary system into a better situation?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: May I declare an interest, as I am regulated by the Financial Services Authority? Does the Chancellor agree that boom and bust is part of the human condition, we will never get away from it, and the best that regulation can do is ameliorate extremes, not stop boom and bust altogether?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Labour Members consistently harp on about how Conservative policies in the 1980s affected manufacturing, but will they say something about the damage done to industry by the aggressive trade unionism of the 1970s and 1980s, and might they take the plank out of their own eye before they look at the mote in ours?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been assessed for employment and support allowance at Flowers Hill, Brislington, Bristol; and how many such people had their applications for that allowance rejected following work capability assessments.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: rose-
Jacob Rees-Mogg: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving way-and, indeed, for visiting North East Somerset, where he will be welcome again. He has mentioned Japan, and what Japan got wrong. What it got wrong was massive overspending, as a result of which it is now forecast to have a debt to GDP ratio of 246%. Surely that overspending is exactly what we need to avoid.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way, but I do not quite understand his logic. Two of the three legs of the stool to which he refers-the loose monetary policy and the devaluation-remain in place, to the benefit of British industry. It is only the third leg that is absent.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Is the hon. Lady aware that if the tax rises she proposes were introduced, we would have the highest ratio of tax to GDP that this country has had in 40 years-7% higher than the record achieved under Margaret Thatcher's Government?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers planning authorities have to penalise persons who have proceeded with unauthorised developments in circumstances where it has been established that the developer was aware of the applicable regulations.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Is it not the case that the only time when the economy was run properly under the previous Government was when they followed Conservative spending plans in their first three years?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will instruct the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to expedite its review of Lapatinib.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Is not there always an argument for more regulation and laws, and for taking away the liberty of the British subject? Is it about time that we had a deregulating Government, which I hope the coalition is, who stop piling law upon law upon us? A great and noble Liberal, Lord Palmerston, said that we would run out of things to legislate about, and sadly, that day has not yet come.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: May I begin by congratulating hon. Members on a series of excellent maiden speeches? My hon. Friend the Member for Weaver Vale (Graham Evans) spoke. I did not know that area of the country at all before he did so, and I feel much better informed as to its great beauties. The hon. Member for Scunthorpe (Nic Dakin) told the House, to its considerable relief, that he is not going to be a...
Jacob Rees-Mogg: It will be an honour to give way.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: I am sorry to say that the hon. Lady left my train of thought at the wrong station. The point I was making was that, if we carry on issuing gilts at an even faster rate, long-term interest rates will rise, and it is on long-term interest rates that mortgages end up being priced. If we look at the gilts market, we see that the very thought-the prospect, the hope-of a Conservative Government...
Jacob Rees-Mogg: It would be a privilege.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: I do not believe that I had mentioned Greece in the few words that I had spoken. I would say, however, that it is better to cut before getting into a Greek situation. I admire my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer because, in his foresight, he has brought forward action early. Countries in a Greek situation find that they can get no money from the financial markets and have to...
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Of course I will give way.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: The hon. Lady ought to allow me to get over-dramatic before accusing me of being so. Her point is to some extent valid; of course we need to consider these things rationally and deal with them in a sensible and prudent fashion. That is exactly what we have done. The point that I am trying to establish is that the level of debt needs to be tackled urgently. I am not saying that the United...