HC Deb 27 October 1994 vol 248 cc1000-1
11. Mr. Austin-Walker

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the relationship between the Government's imposition of new tax rises and the standard of living in the United Kingdom.

Sir George Young

Our policies of sound finance will produce sustained recovery, more jobs and further increases in living standards.

Mr. Austin-Walker

Is not the reality that, as a result of the Chancellor's Budget last year, the poor have been hit hard and those on middle incomes have been hit even harder? Is the Minister aware that, as a result of last year's Budget, a family on average earnings with two children is already £330 a year worse off and faces a further £85 loss in income as a result of inbuilt tax increases? When the Government promise year-on-year tax cuts and increases in standards of living, why do average families have to dip their hands further and further into their pockets to bail the Government out as a result of their economic failures?

Sir George Young

The actual figure for next year is not the one that the hon. Gentleman gave. The average impact of next year's increases across all households is £3 a week. A large number of households will pay less, and the figure for pensioners is 90p a week. The hon. Gentleman must put those figures in perspective. Since 1979, average families have had an increase of some £80 in real take-home pay.

Mr. Patrick Thompson

Is it not a fact that living standards in my constituency and throughout the country have risen under this Conservative Government, and is it not correct to say that the average family receives £80 more per week than it did in 1979? That is a tribute to the Government.

Sir George Young

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Real take-home pay has increased for all earning deciles since 1979.