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  Hamish Rothbard
Posted by: Errol George-Grosjean - 07-07-2020, 06:20 PM - Forum: New Players & Character Creation - No Replies

Name: Hamish Murray Rothbard
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Scottish and Jewish
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Avatar: Alastair Campbell
Discord Username: PeterGrandersonMP

Education: 

  • Educated at Harrow College (1950-1953) 
  • LLB (Jurisprudence) | London School of Economics (1953-1957)
  • Juris Doctor | Gonville and Caius, Cambridge (1958-1960)
Career: 
  • Joined Lincoln's Inn | 1960
  • Barrister | 1960-1987
  • Member of Parliament for Wigan | 1987-Present
Party: Labour
Constituency: Wigan
Faction: Progressive
Parliamentary Career: 
  • Nominated for Labour Candidate for Hackney Council | 1966 | Not Selected
  • Labour Candidate for Beaconsfield | 1983 | Lost, but did better than national average for swing
  • Member of Parliament for Wigan | 1987-Present
  • Regular contributor to the IPPR Progressive Review Weekly | 1988-Present

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  Phoebe Lynch
Posted by: Phoebe Lynch - 07-06-2020, 11:18 PM - Forum: New Players & Character Creation - No Replies

Name: Phoebe Lynch
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White (Northern) Irish
Sexuality: 100% Straight
Avatar: Enya
Discord Username: LegolasRedbard

Education: PGCE Education (Science) from Queen's University
Career: Flight attendant, teacher, hotelier

Party: Conservative and UNIONIST Party
Constituency: Tynemouth, first elected in 1987
Faction: Bow Groiup
Parliamentary Career: Fairly anonymous backbencher



Phoebe Sarah Lynch is a British politician, currently serving as the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for South Thanet.

Born on 14th January 1951 in Belfast, Lynch was the only child of Mary and Thomas Kerr, the former a maid originally from Glasgow and the latter a local businessman and latterly a DUP councillor. She attended a local grammar school, before graduating, and becoming an air hostess for Irish airline Aer Lingus. She would leave that job, going on to study Biology at Queen's University Belfast, before qualifying as a teacher in 1977, and spending 6 years teaching in Belfast and Londonderry, before moving with her new husband to Durham in 1983.

Her husband, Michael was the owner of a number of local businesses in County Durham and in the city of Newcastle,
including a hotel, which he appointed his wife manager of in 1981. These ties with the local community put her in the position to enter local politics, being elected to the Durham County Council in 1985, and the following year becoming leader of the Conservative group on the council, a position she held for a year until her election as MP. Lynch's ambition to become a politician was driven by her deep desire both to make a difference in the community that had welcomed her, and a desire to see the eradication of Republican terrorism in Northern Ireland. She attempted several times to be selected as an MP, trying first in South Thanet, where she and her husband own a hotel in Margate, and also in the safe seat of Hexham in Northumberland. Finally, she was successful off the back of her and her husband's influence in ousting Neville Trotter as the Conservative candidate for the marginal seat of Tynemouth, being elected in 1987, but in a worrying sign with a majority down from 22% to 4%. Since joining the Commons, she has spoken mostly on local issues, and is a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee.

Lynch is a devoted Christian, and was formerly a member of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. She is on friendly terms with the Northern Irish unionist parties, the UUP and DUP, and describes Ian Paisley as a "great man." She worked on the by-election campaign of Enoch Powell in 1986, and considers herself to be quite hard-line on social issues, although is not a dyed-in-the-wool economic conservative. She is associated with the Orange Order, connections which have been slightly controversial amongst some of her constituents in the past and featured quite heavily in Labour's campaign against her. She has two children, and the family live in County Durham.

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  Motion to Expel the Member from Perth & Kinross from This House
Posted by: Brown - 07-06-2020, 09:24 PM - Forum: Motions - Replies (1)

Mr. Speaker,

I beg to move that the Member from Perth & Kinross by expelled from this House.

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  Motion to Expel the Member from New Forest from This House
Posted by: Brown - 07-06-2020, 09:22 PM - Forum: Motions - Replies (1)

Mr. Speaker,

I beg to move that the Member from New Forest by expelled from this House.

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  PC9 - Shadow Budget
Posted by: Steve - 07-06-2020, 08:19 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (11)

Closes 10 July 23:59

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  Ruth Murphy
Posted by: Ruth Murphy - 07-06-2020, 03:07 PM - Forum: New Players & Character Creation - No Replies

[Image: KATHY-BATES-2011-2.jpg]

Name: Ruth Elizabeth Murphy
Age: April 19th 1933 - 57.
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Avatar: Kathy Bates
Discord Username: TrashPotato

Education: Seafield Convent Catholic Girls' School (1939-1945). 
                  Apprentice Drycleaner (1945-1947). 
Career:       Drycleaning Assistant (1947-1962). 
                  Union Rep, USDAW (1960-1962). 
                  Organiser, USDAW (1962-1964).
                  Convenor, USDAW (1964-1970). 
                  Policy Officer, Fawcett Society (1970-1974). 
                  

Party: Labour
Constituency: Liverpool West Derby
Faction: Tribune
Parliamentary Career: Member of Parliament for Liverpool West Derby (October 1974-Present). 
                                    Parliamentary Private Secretary to the SOS for Employment (1975-1976).
                                    Minister for the Arts (1976-1979). 
                                    Shadow Whip (1980-1985). 
                                    Shadow Secretary of State for Health (1985-1990).

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  Dawson Economic SP: A Budget for a Better, Just Century
Posted by: Tommy Dawson - 07-04-2020, 11:24 PM - Forum: Press Office - No Replies

Tommy Dawson strides to the podium wearing his typical outfit of a schlubbly looking corduroy jacket, corduroy pants, and a red tie. He sticks his thumb up and smiles a la Corbyn before beginning (permission from Nathan): 

Hello Coventry! I’m pleased to have left Spy vs. Spy land in Westminster to discuss why we cannot squander this historic opportunity to forge a fairer economy and how we can achieve economic justice together.

As I’m sure you have heard, after four months of silence and psychodrama while cities and towns suffered in every region, the Government has finally offered a few words on the economy and a budget proposal. Having reviewed it, suffice to say, the Tories don’t think too highly of working communities like my own in Sheffield or here in Coventry. They want us to believe that the misery we see around us, the poverty and precarity that our brothers and sisters have been condemned to, the sleepless nights of parents filled with anxiety about their children’s future, the worry families feel about how they’ll scrape by next week, that the cruel reality of this economic crisis is a mere bump on Thatcher’s road to a prosperous economy. That the totality of our pain, of our despair, of our anxiety, is simply a “structural adjustment” as their jargon may put it. 

Their budget reflects this view. The very same people who voted time and time again to hollow our industry, to gut our public services, to knife our communities are now rallying around a temporary package that only tinkers around the edges of a fundamentally rotten economic base. After staying essentially silent for four months as the repercussions of economic calamity blazed all around us I don’t think anyone is shocked that all this Tory Government could come up with is feeble tinkering while the wretched processes of deindustrialisation, deunionisation, and deregulation continue unabated. After all, these are the exact same Tory benches that not more than a year ago were salivating at the prospect of more cuts, of more rot, of more inequality. I deserve no credit for simply noting what working people are well aware of: the Tories can only offer the temporary bandaging of a fundamentally exploitative economic project because ultimately, that project has benefited their wealthy mates beyond what they could have imagined in their wildest dreams as the project began in 1979. While the many have suffered from “structural adjustments” the few have risen to new heights of opulence and splendor. 

Labour, on the contrary, doesn’t offer gimmicks. We don’t seek a temporary fix to an economic project that is rotten to its core. Instead, our shadow budget constitutes a significant first step in a plan for national renewal, recovery, and hope as we stride toward the next century. Just as Clem Atlee and Nye Bevan knew that from the ashes of the Second World War, today we must build a more equal society oriented towards meeting human needs. Here in Coventry, Labour reaffirms its commitment to building a just economy for the 21st Century out of the wreckage of Thatcherism. We will work together - with working people all across Britain - so that our children may be proud to grow up in a century where the scourge of poverty in one of the wealthiest societies in history is unknown. Where all regardless of age or background can self-actualise. And where the pleasure of a full and happy life is not tethered off from the broad majority of us as an experience only to be enjoyed by those who reside in mansions of glory like the manors of feudal barons of old.

Our budget is the first step in a national plan that seeks to restore our industry in a manner that benefits all, revitalise our public services, and restore our communities that have been torn apart after cut after cut so that they may be spaces of neighborly solidarity and places where parents may raise their children with pride, knowing that they can envision future generations living there in prosperity and peace. 

Our budget constitutes not only bold action to provide immediate relief to those condemned to misery by the failed economic experimentation of the last decade, but also transformative long term investment to create a bottom-up, sustainably healthy economy. For job-seekers we are dramatically increasing funding for jobcentre resources, for adult-skills training, and for youth training. Starving our social security services over the past decade has been one of the most shameful policies of the latest Tory Governments. That ends with a Labour Government. Our budget treats social security with the seriousness it needs because those failed by an intentionally cruel, mean-spirited economic project deserve dignity and support not shame and alienation.  Not only does our budget say enough to the disastrous practice of selling off of our publicly owned industries to speculators in the City of London so that they may pad their pockets more, but rather it proudly more than doubles our spending on investment in them. That way, we may enter the 21st Century with a sleek, modern array of public companies that not only meet the needs of all of us better than they ever have, but also provide good-paying, stable jobs as part of the foundation of an equal, democratic economy. We are committed to serious, long term investment in the communities hit hardest by deindustrialization and subsequent Tory neglect. Further, in Government, Labour will create a Democratic Workplace Center which will function as a bank providing no-interest loans to workers at firms that are going bankrupt so that those firms are not only kept afloat but also organised as democratic worker-owned co-operatives so that the workers who create the wealth have a say in how it is distributed and how their workplace is run. This is a commitment to a democratic economy and a commitment to our communities as it offers stability in a time of uncertainty while raising wages and benefits in the process. Additionally, public sector workers from nurses and doctors to police and firefighters, teachers and soldiers will see a 10% increase in pay as a first step in ensuring that their wages reflect the value they create and the dignity by which they go about their work. 

Our social housing has experienced shameless neglect over the past decade. Our budget invests more than £4 bn on building modern, high-quality social housing units that are affordable and pleasant to live in free from unscrupulous landlords, with plenty of natural light and modern amenities. We are committing £2.5 bn to mortgage relief for those suffering from unemployment and underemployed in this low-wage, precarious economy and consequently unable to keep up. Public transit is the lifeline for people in communities across Britain and our budget invests to modernize and expand services. Further, we will provide the necessary funds to local transit services to scrap bus fares across Britain so that working people can get from home, to the market, to their jobs and wherever they need to go and back without nagging material anxiety. 

With our budget, the eleven-year Tory siege on the NHS will be history. Not only will a Labour Government build 300 new health facilities across Britain, hire 1,000 new doctors and 5,000 new nurses, we will also increase spending on health across the board to ensure that the quality of care imagined by Nye Bevan as he set out on his project to build a health system organised to meet human needs is met. Further, we will scrap the prescription charge which is regressive in nature as the wealthy few spend a far smaller percentage of their income paying it than working families, on average. 

Labour is committed to building an education system that not only prepares future generations for the challenges they might face but allows them to find and pursue their passions and self-actualise. Education does not have to be modeled off of industrial efficiency but should instead be tailored to the needs and interests of those learning. As such, our shadow budget commits to building 125 new schools and increases per-pupil funding by nearly £200. We know that education isn’t restricted to young people either and that is why our budget commits more than £600 million to expand adult skills and learning initiatives so that all of us can continue to learn, develop, and pursue our passions throughout life. 

Now, surely the Tories will be incensed on behalf of their wealthy mates that our budget asks the few who are doing better than ever to pay a modest amount more in taxes to help finance some of our transformative initiatives to create a just economy. They may scare-monger over investment. Well, let’s put this notion to bed right now. Over the last eleven years, Tory Governments have slashed the tax rates for the wealthiest in our society. They tirelessly worked on an economic project that undermined the trade union movement so that they may exploit workers for lower wages, they allowed the speculators to pilfer our publicly owned industries. We have seen a profound upward transfer of wealth over the past decade and what have has come of it? Have they invested it in any coordinated way toward building a stable economy? The fluctuations of the past few years and the massive recession now suggest otherwise. In fact, many have stashed it away in foreign bank accounts and built ostentatious residences. Despite what the Tories may suggest, this recession is not felt equally by all and the few who are doing better than ever can be asked to contribute more so that we can make the vital long term investment this economy needs to end this recession and become fairer in the process. 

What we have discussed today are just some highlights of our first step in what will be a transformative program to build a better world in a better century. I’d like to end on how we get there. I’m sure you have seen that recently a Tory cabinet official went on the telly to begrudgingly announce the end of the vile poll tax. What we saw in the lead up to that decision was a vindication of the theory that change does not come from above but rather from below. The Tory Government’s decision came after a months-long campaign of radical, bold organisation with protestors that had clear demands, passion in their hearts, and confidence that what they were doing was just. After months of righteous action from below, the Tories knew that if they didn’t act the results would be disastrous for them electorally. As working people struggling under an unjust economic order, we must view the budget with the same framework for change. The Tories changed course this year from signing off year after year to ruthless cutting to a budget featuring limited investment because they knew that doing anything less would be disastrous for them politically. Their Finance Bill is the bare minimum that those committed to Thatcherism will temporarily concede in a single year in an effort to preserve their project. But we know that we are worth more than the bare minimum! We know that after a decade of economic assault that we deserve a democratic economy organized to meet human needs - not scraps from the people who waged that assault! And how do we get more? How do we achieve the transformative programme I’ve outlined today? The same way we organised to scrap the poll tax. If you feel inspired by our vision, if you know that a world free from poverty and despair is possible, if you believe that our economy should be organized for the benefit of the broad majority, not the wealthy few, then organise into activist groups and in your local Labour Party and fight for it! Be prepared to knock on doors and explain how our vision will uplift the voiceless. We can reach the alienated and checked out of our political system, just as the movement against the poll tax did! If we put in the hard work then we can set forth on building a better 21st Century together! 
Labour 1991 Budget: For a Better, Just Century

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  Ministerial Broadcast: Secretary of State for the Environment
Posted by: David Blair - 07-04-2020, 08:16 PM - Forum: Press Office - No Replies

   

Good evening.

My name is David Blair, and I am one of the Secretaries of State in Her Majesty’s Government. One of my responsibilities is for local government, and the funding of your local council.

I want to speak to you briefly this evening about the community charge, or poll tax.

Many of you feel that the poll tax is manifestly unfair. There are legitimate concerns that the new tax is burdensome for low earners, and that it needlessly penalises the poor. Many of you have refused to pay the poll tax. And many have protested against its imposition.

I can announce today that this new Government, which intends to put the wellbeing of families at the heart of its agenda, is abolishing the poll tax with immediate effect. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that noone will be asked to pay the poll tax from April this year, and that anyone who has already paid the tax will be issued with a full refund matching the total of their contributions.

To pay for this, the Government is providing an extra £11 billion of centrally-funded grants to local councils. This means that the poll tax can be abolished without any reduction in local government funding, ensuring that no services are cut.

From 1992, a new and fairer system of local taxation will be introduced. This new system will be paid according to ability, rather than being a flat tax paid at the same rate by everyone. I can’t say much more about the new system just yet, but I would like to assure you that it will be a fairer, simpler and easier way of funding local councils compared to the poll tax.

On the poll tax, the Government got it wrong. Today, this new Government is rectifying its mistakes. To be clear: from April, noone will be asked to pay the poll tax. And anyone who has already paid will be given a full refund. Additional funding from the Government will ensure that no council is forced to cut services in order to fund the loss of poll tax revenues.

If the Government has lost your trust, I hope that these steps are a small way in which we can begin to earn it back. All politicians, from time to time, get things wrong: what matters is that, when we’re wrong, we hold our hands up and we fix it. That is what I propose to do.

Thank you.

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  PC8 - Budget
Posted by: Steve - 07-02-2020, 07:15 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (23)

Open until 7 July 23:59

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  Finance Bill 1991
Posted by: Isaac Westcott - 07-02-2020, 06:57 PM - Forum: Division Lobbies - Replies (16)

Mister Deputy Speaker,

It gives me pride and pleasure to be here alongside the Prime Minister to present the Finance Bill 1991 to Parliament. This budget is a direct response to the concerns of the people of the United Kingdom have as we look into an uncertain future, and it is a direct response to those who question the ability of this Government to govern effectively. 

After years of economic growth, after years of increases in personal productivity that brings us up to par with our colleagues in Europe, after years of wage increases and new opportunities created, we’re standing on the precipice of a recession. This is the natural progression of an economy: where there are booms, an economy can overheat and the changes can lead to busts. This is a fact of economies everywhere, no matter how much the opposition would like to spin it otherwise.

What is not an immutable fact, however, is how Governments react. The economic projections for the next year are negative. There is no avoiding that fact as we are dealing with the costs of steadily-rising inflation. We are dealing with the cost of high interest rates which are serving the purpose of promoting inward investment and confidence, the purpose of reducing inflation, and the purpose of keeping our promises to the rest of Europe through the Exchange Rate Mechanism. 

However, in living up to our promises and living up to our need to bring price stability to producers, workers, and families, we are also seeing a pinch. Prospective homebuyers are not purchasing properties. Homeowners hoping to continue to finance or sell their homes are seeing the interest rates as a turnoff. Businesses that want to invest see the cost of money higher than they’re willing to pay. And so in turn we’re seeing the beginnings of an economic adjustment. We’re seeing greater caution from businesses- and in turn we’re seeing businesses start to shed jobs.

And the goal of this Government, of this budget, is to get those businesses and those workers and those consumers and everyone that depends on all the above back to work and back to a place of confidence. This budget will do that, and will deliver an economic jump-start to our economy while we continue to work with Europe to bring our interest rates down.

First and foremost, we are working to lessen the pain of taxation. We’ve heard, loud and clear, the views of the ratepayer of Britain on the Community Charge. While my colleague, the Minister for Environment, has laid out a plan that would allow us to effectively eliminate this charge and ensure that local communities are funded, the Finance Bill 1991 will zero out the Community Charge for the next year and will provide additional funding to local governments in order to make up for that decision. In this way we’re going to ensure that local governments have the funding they need to carry out the services they’ve promised to families and communities throughout Britain. This is a temporary measure and a temporary expenditure while this Government works to deliver reform on how local governments are funded and how they provide services. But we will not ask local governments to cut back, and we will not ask the people to do without services while we move forward on eliminating the Community Charge. 

For those that do work, we’re establishing a new Introductory Rate of the income tax, set at 15% of earned income above £2,800. Prior to this budget, income above that level would be taxed at 25%. By establishing this Introductory Rate we are reducing the level of income taken in tax by £5 billion. That is money that can be used to invest, that can be used to consume, or even used to build the savings of workers and families throughout the United Kingdom. Our new 15% Introductory Rate will provide relief to those who are working and adds a level of progressiveness to our income tax where it was lacking before. 

For businesses that are facing higher costs, we have heard their needs as well, and are proposing a reduction on corporate income taxes by going from 35% to 30%. This additional funding for businesses will help them invest and keep on workers at a time where jobs are needed most. 

With the changes that we’ve made, we will be looking to tighten our enforcement of existing tax laws and ensure that, legal or otherwise, individuals do not get out of paying their fair share. To that end, we have increased funding to HMRC to step up enforcement of existing tax laws to cut down on dodging and cheating which is a tool too often used by the very few at the expense of this country and the promises that we’ve made to all Britons.

Now, I want to turn to highlight expenditures. 

This Government is providing a number of proposed programs with the aim of increasing our expenditures on infrastructure projects and investments that are designed to spur job creation and ease the costs of doing business in order to prove a foundation and an environment for economic growth. The ideas that we’ve had in this budget, and that will be laid out here, are designed with that single focus in mind. Government cannot be the sole engine of economic growth. But it CAN create the right environment and plant the seed for economic growth to flourish.

To that end, this Government is increasing investment in our communities and across the United Kingdom as a whole. Our funding to projects in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are seeing a surge based on the decisions that we are making in this budget, maintaining the use of the Barnett Formula as previous Conservative Governments have done. This represents, above baseline figures, an increase to Scotland of £4.5 billion. An increase to Wales of £2.4 billion. An increase to Northern Ireland of £1.7 billion. Our increase in spending means that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will see better services and more investment than ever before- and it’s something this Government wants to see put to work for the people that need it. 

These investments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are matched with similarly high investments for England as well. 

When it comes to transportation, I know that there are many in Government and in the Opposition that have said they’d like us to do more. To that end we’re investing billions of pounds in local transportation projects, in highway transportation, in British Rail, and in nationally-owned airports. This will help us advance our transit infrastructure to where we will need it as a country, providing greater trips in more comfort for people and businesses in Britain. We’re increasing expenditures on road and rail by 50% over what was spent in 1990- that’s an increase beyond inflation of quite nearly £2 billion to ensure more projects are funded and can advance, putting people to work in expanding our infrastructure and ensuring smoother, faster, and safer rides for all. At the same time, we’re keeping fares flat to ensure that people who rely on mass transit can do so affordably. 

Our investments go beyond just roads and rails. We’re putting more into electricity production and generation as well, with an increase in capital spending by government-owned corporations of an additional £1 billion to increase capacity and invest in cutting edge equipment and supplies that will allow us to pass lower prices on to British power consumers at home and in business alike. On top of that, we’re investing £750 million in environmentally-friendly energy generation projects to help us expand our production of renewable, clean, limitless energy. 

We’re investing more in public housing- making sure that we continue this opportunity to increase the available housing stock in this country by over £200 million- again, a 50% increase over what we spent just last year. 

We’re investing in the construction of NHS facilities and schools as well- starting this year (1991), we’re allocating nearly £5 billion in spending on new school and medical infrastructure. That is going to result, when all is said in done, in 250 new clinics, 10 large village hospitals, 1 new town hospital, and a large hospital to make sure that we can better serve the British people with quality care that they expect from the NHS but also to spur investment through the construction and the supply of these new facilities. This will also result in 100 new primary schools, 20 secondary schools, and a college to reduce class sizes, to make more learning opportunities available in growing areas, and again, helping boost our companies involved in supply and construction.

Each of these investments will come with the caveat that where possible, we spend this money on UK-produced goods and UK-made equipment. Each purchase of a wind turbine, of a sack of concrete, of a pallet of brick, or a mile of rail will benefit, as much as we can, UK jobs and put British people back to work. 

Our investments are not just limited to the physical. Our greatest investments are in people.

When it comes to helping create and find opportunities for employment, this Government is pulling out all the stops. We’re adding £700 million into training programs for youth and adults, into programmes to help people find jobs that fit their skills, and into providing support for long-term unemployment. Of this, £200 million is in grants for unemployed individuals that want to start their own business, and we’re eliminating any capital requirements so that we can invest the most in the best ideas that people have to offer. 

If you disregard our new hospitals, we’re still increasing funding for the NHS by 10% over the course of the year, hiring new NHS staff and increasing our investment into medical research and public health programs. In fact we’re doubling the funding we have for research- from £350 million to over £700 million- to help support researchers but also find new treatments and new cures for those in this country that need it. This Government will take up the call issued by the Princess of Wales to expand funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, research, treatment, and education to help ensure that we’re doing our part to help those in Britain and around the world affected by this terrible disease.

In our schools, we’re investing more per-student than ever before, making sure there’s additional funding to support our classrooms and our students, including ensuring access to healthy food to ensure that no student has to miss a meal. And our Education Secretary will have more information on this, but we’re bringing in a brand-new program to target young people in the most need that we’re calling “Family Hubs.”

Family Hubs, as my colleague the Education Secretary will describe in more detail, will reach out to children and young people who need it most to provide childcare, early education, and health and family support. With this investment that we’re making in this budget, we’ll be able to reach out to 200,000 children throughout Britain in 1991 to put them on a path for healthy, successful development who would not have it otherwise. And we’re convinced the impact will go beyond this investment in improving the mental health and stability of families, in improving health outcomes for children in need, and improving performance in schools. 

For those who are impacted by rising unemployment, and particular for families that are feeling the pain, we’re increasing benefits that are made available to people in need. Unemployment benefits will, for the year 1991, be increased beyond the rate of inflation by £5 per week. We’re adding additional increases beyond the rate of inflation of £5 for pensioners and the disabled. Family benefits will be doubled- including the family credit for low-income individuals, and the child benefit that is made available to all. We’re similarly providing additional benefits for maternity pay and for guardians who are raising children- not just to encourage the creation and stability of families, but to reduce the extra pain that can be felt on the pocketbook in these hard times. These payments will help provide a vital safety net to those who are facing unemployment and for those who are worried that in these tough times that they or their families will be left out in the cold. This Government understands the pain that recession and unemployment can cause those wanting work, those on disability, those with families, and those who are on pensions. And this Government is taking concrete steps to soothe that pain while we foster a future of growth.

And for those individuals who are homeless or who suffer from rough sleeping, we’re establishing a fund of £200 million where this Government will help find a roof for these people to live under and work to rebuild their lives.

For those that serve the people of this country- whether it is our soldiers who are fighting to ensure that Kuwait remains liberated, or police officers keeping our streets safe, or nurses and doctors that are leading the fight against AIDS and against diseases and injuries of all shapes and sizes, or the educators that are ensuring the future is well cared for- we are providing them a meaningful wage increase that goes above and beyond inflation so that they see real benefits to their pocketbooks. Coupled with our tax reforms to establish an Introductory Rate, those who have volunteered to give their lives and their time in the service of Britain are getting more. Public servants, law enforcement, and our military personnel deserve and have our thanks, but they deserve the right to afford a life. And this Government will ensure that they have it.

Our investment in individuals will extend beyond the support of programs in health, education, and welfare. 

One of the dangers of rising interest rates is, if the rates are sustained, increasing defaults on mortgages, loans, and borrowed funds. These defaults have impacts throughout our entire economy. 

Obviously there is an immediate impact. Credit scores are impacted, making it harder to get a job or to get approval for future loans. There is the risk of foreclosure- where people who are unable to afford their current home for reasons beyond their control are cast out and then find themselves too far in the hole to get back on their feet. 

But then banks- large and small- find themselves with the last thing that they want: vacant property that they now have to pay to maintain. They have assets that can’t be readily transferred and that are capital sinks, which keeps banks from lending and that serves to further contract the economy. 

We’re already seeing the impacts of defaults, foreclosures, and the inability to get access to money in falling home prices as those who are trying to sell or companies that are selling new construction have to hold on to empty property even longer. 

The same problem applies to businesses as well- particularly small businesses that have taken out loans and that now have an inability to pay for them. Like homeowners, they find themselves 

Of course, the most prudent action here would be to reduce interest rates. This Government will do that in the coming weeks and months as our financial situation improves, particularly with respect to our position in the EEC Exchange Rate Mechanism. I will make a statement to the House soon about what we are doing and the path forward from here on that front. One of the proposals in this budget plan is a part of that- the financing of a European reconstruction bank. This bank will help to fund development projects in states that are shaking off the yoke of communism, it will fund needed investments in education, health, and infrastructure, and share the burden but also the success with the rest of Europe. Indeed, the point of this is to ensure a smooth transition into free democracy, but also avoid countries like Germany having to shoulder the burdens on their own, which puts pressure on the rest of us.

But for the purposes of the discussion on Finance Bill 1991, what I can say is that reducing interest rates is an action that is currently not available to us. 

To that end, this Government is going to embark on an ambitious programme to allow us to support those individuals and businesses that are most at risk of default and losing everything they’ve worked hard to build. We’re establishing programmes that will purchase some of the most at-risk debt from lenders and ensure that we prevent as many people from losing their homes or businesses as we can. By establishing funds with a total of £13 billion, we can target that assistance where it is most needed. It won’t solve everyone’s problem- only prudent actions to provide the foundations for growth can do that. But it will give breathing room and space from those who are close to losing what they have while our programmes start putting people back to work.

I know the questions that will arise from the Opposition and from the Liberal Democrats among others. Isn’t this a programme to just reward banks for lending out and allowing them to reward those at the very top? Isn’t this establishing some sort of moral hazard where individuals should feel free to not pay their debts? Isn’t this some scheme to expand the government’s control over the economy? 

And the answer to these questions is no. This Government will enact requirements to ensure that any money banks receive from these programmes are to be used to lend or to shore up balance sheets- and not be used for executive pay. This Government will lay out transparent and clear conditions for how debt will qualify to be purchased, so that those with an ability to pay aren’t just trying to take advantage of an economic reality that is causing pain to so many people. And this Government will, as our economy grows with our investments and other strategies that are in this budget and that will be outlined in the coming days, weeks, and months, seek to ensure these debts are either serviced or sold back to banks willing to take them. 

But while we do all this, our chief goal, and the chief impact, of these programmes will be to keep people in their homes. To keep businesses open and running so they don’t have to shut their doors. It will keep the vital underpinnings on our national economy stronger.  

This investment is a key part of our investment in people. And it couples with our other investments in construction projects and in infrastructure that will provide immediate opportunities but that will also help keep costs of doing business and moving around and going to work lower in the future.  It’s a key part of providing economic stability at a time where it is most sorely needed. And it shows that this Government is not blind and deaf to the needs of Britons everywhere, but that we are taking decisive action to help put us on a road to growth in the future. 

Mister Deputy Speaker, this country faces a challenge. It would be useless and it would be dangerous to try to suggest otherwise. But Britons will rise to the challenge. Our banks want to lend. Our businesses want to be open. And our people want to work. What we need to do is make sure that we are giving all players the tools to do so. 

It means keeping people in their homes where we can. 

It means keeping businesses afloat.

It means easing some of the burdens that are faced by those who worry about their health or about access to education when they’re most at risk. 

To support this country and its people, it means we need to look beyond the basic balance sheet. And this Government is doing just that. 

I am confident that with these measures, and with those we will take in the coming days, weeks, and months, we will arise out of this situation with a stronger economy, with better wages, and with greater support for those that need it. I look forward to working with the honourable members of this House as we move forward, as we enact the policies and programmes outlined in the budget on homelessness, on education, on medical treatment and research, and on so many other things. I am confident, Mister Deputy Speaker, that together we can achieve great things.

With that, I commend this budget to the House.

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LINK to budget (Google Sheets, view-only link provided): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...sp=sharing

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