Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for allowing me to intervene. The noble Baroness gave a rather alarming statistic. I should like it confirmed if she will do so. I understand that the noble Baroness is looking for £1.5 billion worth of savings from the NHS as it is run at present. Will she confirm that figure?

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, that was the figure I gave. If I have mis-stated the figure, I shall write to the noble Baroness. We cannot continue to fund failure. I just ask your Lordships to remember that under previous Conservative administrations the number of people dependent on benefit doubled from one in 12 to one in six; one in five households of people of working

19 May 1997 : Column 253

age are not in work; one child in four is growing up in a family on income support; and one quarter of all Europe's poor live in Britain today. Children are born in poverty, live in poverty, and then pass on poverty to their children as they move into an impoverished old age.

The knee-jerk response of the previous Government was to cut already meagre benefit payments to their already poor claimants in the forlorn hope that they could contain the growth in expenditure caused by their own economic and social failure. We can do better. We must, and we will. As Beveridge said--no opting out into private pacts with social evil. One nation; a society not divided; one that does not create outsiders or allow

19 May 1997 : Column 254

outsiders to become outlaws. As Beveridge said, that is the meaning of social conscience. Together we will renew our health service and rebuild our welfare state. I am confident that all noble Lords around this House will want to join us in that enterprise.

Baroness Gould of Potternewton: My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lady Blackstone, I beg to move that the debate be now adjourned until tomorrow.

Moved, That the debate be now adjourned until tomorrow.--(Baroness Gould of Potternewton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned accordingly until tomorrow.

        House adjourned at eight minutes before eleven o'clock.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page