Autumn Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 1:27 pm ar 22 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:27, 22 Tachwedd 2023

I am afraid that the shadow Chancellor has shown once again that Labour has nothing credible to say on the economy. She tells the papers this morning that she will accept these measures, as one would expect from a copy and paste shadow Chancellor. In all sincerity, I particularly welcome her conversion to supporting full expensing, which she voted against in the House; copying and pasting in the national interest is welcomed on the Government Benches. She compared growth rates under Labour and the Conservatives, but she carefully omitted one fact: Labour inherited a golden legacy from the Conservatives, and proceeded to trash the economy before handing it over.

On growth, the right hon. Lady did not like it when I reminded her that, under the Conservatives, we have grown faster than any other major European economy. She says she is now converted to Conservative supply-side reforms on welfare, so I look forward to her voting with us in the Lobby on those, but her main policy is a demand-side boost to growth, increasing borrowing by £28 billion a year, with absolutely no plans to repay it. The shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Darren Jones, does not appear to be in his place. This morning he asked for more action on inflation. Well, the first thing Labour could do is drop its damaging inflationary plan to ramp up borrowing.

On the NHS, despite our having more doctors and nurses, and more patients treated in good or outstanding hospitals, what the right hon. Lady did not mention is that the only place where NHS funding has been cut—not once but twice—is Wales, with the longest hospital waits in Britain.

Perhaps we should talk about what has happened after 13 years, when we repaired Labour’s damage: unemployment down, poverty down, crime down, low pay down, schools funding up, NHS funding up, jobs up, growth up. Conservatives know that lower tax is the path to higher growth and today we make a start.