Skip to main content

Budget (June 2010)

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 21 June 2011

14. What assessment he has made of the progressive effects of the measures in the June 2010 Budget which have been implemented to date. (60785)

As the House knows, the Government published huge amounts of analysis of the impact of the measures announced in the Budget of June 2010. The majority of the measures have now been implemented. The charts in the Budget book show that the most well-off households make the largest contribution to the fiscal consolidation, both in cash terms and as a proportion of their net income.

I am grateful to the Minister for that reply, but has she seen the analysis produced by the House of Commons Library and my right hon. Friend the Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) showing that the measures in the last Budget hit women three times as hard as they hit men? Why is that?

I do not accept the premise of the hon. Gentleman’s question at all. As ever, what we have heard from the Opposition is a cheap political point-scoring jibe. They might be better advised to come up with an alternative plan for tackling the fiscal deficit. The hon. Gentleman had nothing to say to my response to him, which implied that it is the most well-off households in the country that are bearing the brunt of the fiscal consolidation.

A year ago, when the Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis found that the Budget was a regressive one, the Treasury objected to that analysis on the basis that the IFS had not properly considered the incentives to economic growth that the Budget contained, but given that growth is now flatlining and seems to be frequently downgraded, is the Treasury willing to accept that the IFS analysis last year was entirely correct?

The IFS analysis was very clear-cut that it was indeed the most well-off people in our country who were bearing the brunt of the fiscal consolidation measures. I draw the House’s attention to the need to look at the overall impact of not just the Budget 2010, but the spending review and the Budget this year. They show that the most well-off people in our country are bearing the brunt of the fiscal consolidation, whether that is measured in terms of their income or of their expenditure.

The incentives for job creation in the June 2010 and subsequent Budgets are to be welcomed, but given that for every 10 new jobs eight go to foreign-born workers, what more can be done to encourage the employment of the indigenous work force?

As my hon. Friend knows, one of the key aspects of the Budget this year was to launch “The Plan for Growth”. A key part of that was to provide for more apprenticeships and more work experience so that we can make sure that people have the right skills that companies in this country need.