Matthew Hancock: It is an honour to be called to speak and to follow the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford), who spoke so passionately about her new constituency. She also spoke about a subject to do with the constitution that I, too, wish to address-the devolution of power to people more locally. That is a thread that binds together all of us on this side of the House. We believe that the...
Matthew Hancock: Is the Chancellor aware of the recent Institute for Fiscal Studies report which showed that, going into the recession, the budget deficit in the UK was already one of the highest in the developed world?
Matthew Hancock: rose-
Matthew Hancock: rose-
Matthew Hancock: The shadow Chancellor has mentioned the banking crisis several times. With hindsight, does he regret the system of banking regulation that was introduced in 1997, and recognise that it failed?
Matthew Hancock: As this is the second time I have had the honour to speak in the Chamber this week, I am very grateful to you for calling me, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am particularly grateful to be able to speak in this debate to take part in rejecting the Identity Cards Act 2006 and the proposal for identity cards introduced by the previous Administration. Many Government Members have spoken on this issue...
Matthew Hancock: Is the Minister aware of how many messages of support I have received today for the plans to allow council buildings to fly the England flag during England games, and will he tell us more about what he intends to do to allow that to happen?
Matthew Hancock: The Leader of the House will know that my constituents and those of Members throughout the House have welcomed the proposal to abolish the regional spatial strategies set up by the previous Government. May we have a statement and a debate about when regional spatial strategies will be abolished in legislation?
Matthew Hancock: In a similar exchange in a debate last week, did my right hon. Friend hear the shadow Chancellor say that the former Government did not understand the systemic risks in the banking system? Does he share my surprise that Members on the Labour Front Bench are no longer willing to engage in an argument about putting right the system of banking regulation that so spectacularly failed?
Matthew Hancock: Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?
Matthew Hancock: The right hon. Gentleman has talked a lot about growth and the need for a growth strategy. Is it still the Labour party's position to put a tax on jobs in the middle of the recovery?
Matthew Hancock: Does my hon. Friend share my bafflement that all the speeches that we have heard from Labour Members seem to ignore the fact that over the past 13 years the share of manufacturing in our economy has halved? It is entirely contrary to the facts for them to talk about the brilliance of the Labour Government as regards manufacturing.
Matthew Hancock: Is my hon. Friend aware that Great Britain went into the recession with the largest budget deficit in the developed world and that that was nothing to do with the banking crisis but was solely due to the management of the economy by the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown)?
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Matthew Hancock: The hon. Gentleman talks about cuts that were identified by Labour. We all know that the Labour figures implied £50 billion of spending cuts; for all that we have heard about demanding more money, that is the fact of the matter. He mentions £500 million as an aggregate figure, but can he give us, say, five specific examples of cuts at the Home Office, where he was a Minister, that would...
Matthew Hancock: It is a pleasure to catch your eye, Mr Deputy Speaker, and to see you in the Chair. I am glad to see that you have adopted the traditional attire of the Deputy Speaker. It has been very enjoyable this afternoon to listen to the maiden speeches of my hon. Friend the Member for Bracknell (Dr Lee) and the hon. Members for Wansbeck (Ian Lavery), for Barnsley East (Michael Dugher), for Bolton...
Matthew Hancock: It is £116 million of unspecified cuts, which is precisely the point that I was making.
Matthew Hancock: We have not heard a single consequence of the £50 billion cuts that the Labour party would have had to introduce had they won the election. That puts the Labour party out of the debate, and leaves it to others-especially those on this side of the House-to work out how we get our country out of this terrible mess. Over the past 13 years we have heard about the six regulations a day from the...
Matthew Hancock: I think that is one for the Budget statement on Tuesday. Finally, we are starting to get the answers to some of these deep-rooted problems. We heard today about the changes to financial regulation, and I wonder how long it will take the Labour party to involve itself in the debate about the future of financial regulation. We think that banks should be properly regulated, not regulated under...
Matthew Hancock: I agree with my hon. Friend.