Peter Dowd is supporting the campaign for votes at 16Read more
On 14 March 2017 Peter Dowd MP spoke in the House of Commons on the Budget Resolutions.
I thank colleagues who have spoken in this debate today. They have torn this Budget apart. I am talking about my hon. Friends the Members for Washington and Sunderland West (Mrs Hodgson), for Lewisham East (Heidi Alexander), for Burnley (Julie Cooper), for Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle), for Cardiff South and Penarth (Stephen Doughty), for Redcar (Anna Turley), for Gedling (Vernon Coaker), for Wirral West (Margaret Greenwood) and for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough (Gill Furniss), my new hon. Friend, the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Gareth Snell) and many other people.
Last week, the Chancellor painted a rosy picture of the nation’s finances. He claimed that the Conservative party’s stewardship had been nothing short of miraculous. He was relaxed and attempted jokes throughout his speech. The Prime Minister’s shoulders shook with amusement, and many Government Members chuckled away. Some of the more experienced Government Members were watching cautiously, as the nosedive gained velocity. The Chancellor had got it wrong—big time. Within hours, he was attacked by many of his own Back Benchers. He was left hung out to dry by the Prime Minister, and, unsurprisingly, he has faced universal criticism over his plans to raise national insurance to 11% for millions of self-employed people. As Sir Michael Caine in the iconic film “The Italian Job” said, “You were only supposed to blow the doors off.” [Interruption.] It would have been unparliamentary to throw in that word. Well, the debris from the explosion is still descending. To put it purely and simply, the manifesto pledge was broken.
Since last Wednesday, Nos. 10 and 11 have been in a briefing war, with each trying to blame the other for the fine mess. Ostensibly, No.10 suggested that the Chancellor sneaked the national insurance rise into the Budget. Apparently, other shocked Cabinet colleagues have indicated that he failed to mention that it would break their manifesto pledge. As my hon. Friend the Member for Garston and Halewood said, it is worrying that Cabinet members do not know their own manifesto commitments. Perhaps they do not care. Then again, the Government have an insouciant attitude towards their manifesto commitment—[Hon. Members: “Give way!”]. I will come back to that in a minute. The insouciant attitude goes on. First the Government committed to getting rid of the deficit by 2015—a broken promise. Secondly, they said that it would be pushed back to 2019-20—another broken promise. Thirdly, they vowed that the debt would start to come down after 2015—another broken promise.
The Government will have virtually doubled the debt and doubled the time they have taken to get it down, and this is what they call success and fiscal credibility. They seem to think that they can simply press the reset button when it comes to meeting their own fiscal rules, and that no one will notice. It is the flipside of John Maynard Keynes’ approach—namely, “When I change my mind, the facts change with it.”
Sir Oliver Letwin (West Dorset) (Con):
Now that the hon. Gentleman has had his bit of fun, would he possibly explain how he proposes that the Labour party would find the money required for social care?
On 17 January 2017 Peter Dowd MP spoke in Parliament on the issue of Concentrix.
- Given the NAO’s excoriating report on Concentrix’s failure to achieve savings targets, performance targets, serviceable staffing levels, sufficient levels of training, call handling accuracy, proficient contract management and competent decision making—while, unbelievably, increasing its commission almost threefold—would not the Chancellor’s time be better spent concentrating on getting a modicum of efficiency into HMRC, rather than popping off to Davos for a winter sojourn?
Peter Dowd MP is concerned that the sanctioning process is failing and must be reviewed.
The recent National Audit Office report into benefit sanctions found that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is not doing enough to find out how sanctions affect people in receipt of social security and could not conclude that the DWP is achieving value for money. There is also evidence of a link between the increase in sanctions and the rise in food bank use.
Peter took part in the parliamentary discussion on the issue on 2nd December 2016.Read more
On the 12th December 2016 Peter Dowd MP pressed government on their implementation of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme with the following questions in the House of Commons:Read more
On 8th December 2016 Peter Dowd MP questioned Justine Greening (Minister for Women and Equalities) whether she "agreed with the Resolution Foundation that cuts to the work allowances of universal credit risk undermining work incentives for disabled people?" And went on to press "Should not those cuts be reversed now?"Read more
Following Peter Dowd's work on the Bill at committee stages (see earlier post) the Bill was discussed in the Commons Chamber on 12th December 2016.Read more
On 13th December Peter Dowd MP took part in a Westminster Hall Debate about the Accelerated Access Review.Read more
Peter asks a question at Prime Minister Questions about the appointment of Boris Johnson as the Foreign Secretary
Watch Peter Dowd MP ask Theresa May about Boris Johnson appointment at PMQ's on 14th December 2016Read more
On the 25th October 2016 Peter spoke in the Commons on the issue of the Northern Powerhouse. He challenged the Government commitment and their apparent chaos over their so called flagship Northern policy. You can read his contribution here.Read more