Mr Redwood’s interventions during the Second Reading of the Finance Bill, 1 April

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Are not people who set up businesses performing a public service in their own right? They are not just given a million pounds because they want a million pounds. They have to open a chemist shop and provide pharmaceuticals to people or whatever. Is that not as much of a public service as anything else?

Richard Harrington (Watford) (Con): My right hon. Friend makes a valid point. That is another benefit. That is another way in which setting up a business is a public service.

Mr Redwood: Since devolution and the advent of a Labour Government in Wales, there has been more public spending per head in Wales than in London and the south-east, yet the economy of London and the south-east has greatly outgrown that of Wales. Why should that be?

Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth) (Lab/Co-op): I am interested that the former Secretary of State for Wales should want to make comparisons between the economic performance of Wales and that of the rest of the United Kingdom. As I said earlier, the Jobs Growth Wales scheme has secured work for 12,000 people who would not otherwise have obtained it. In fact, Welsh unemployment is now lower than unemployment elsewhere in the UK. I think that the Welsh Labour Government are doing a very good job, notwithstanding the constant war on Wales being waged by the Conservatives, which the right hon. Gentleman appears to want to continue.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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