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Personal Disposable Income

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the growth of real personal disposable income since 1983.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that that excellent figure shows that policies that promote enterprise, competition and fiscal prudence certainly deliver the goods?

Is the Chancellor aware that figures put forward by the Family Studies Institute suggest that, under this Chancellor, the rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer? Should we not have a strategy against poverty, beginning with the scrapping of the notorious social fund, which the Government are determined to introduce in April?

The studies to which the hon. Gentleman referred were based on incorrect data and we are writing to the institute to point that out. The truth of the matter is that, at all income levels, the vast majority of the people of this country have seen a substantial increase in their living standards since the Government came to office.