Text Only Version Last Update: Press Releases (22 May 2023)
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David Ruffley MP
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Recognition for a Top Tory
Graham Dines, East Anglian Daily Times, 18 December 2023
It's not very often that Members of Parliament earn rare reviews from the media, so Tory David Ruffley must be feeling justifiably proud of himself after his recent performances in the Treasury Select Committee.
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The committee looks into the workings of the Chancellor and his Whitehall mandarins, and twice a year Gordon Brown has to face a grilling from the cross-party backbenchers appointed to serve on this most prestigious of all scrutiny bodies at Westminster.
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Mr Ruffley, who has been Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds since 1997, is a prominent member of the committee and a tenacious seeker after the truth. Last week, the Chancellor had to answer questions on how he was going to find the extra cash promised for the National Health Service.
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If income tax was not going to rise and the Chancellor was prepared to rule out VAT increases on such things as fuel, where was the money to be found asked Mr Ruffley. It’s fairly obvious to anyone that it’s not coming from increases on such things as fuel, where was the money to be found asked Mr Ruffley. It’s fairly obvious to anyone that it’s coming from increases in National Insurance contributions, and although the Budget is not due until March, Mr Ruffley got the Chancellor to more or less admit the truth.
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And this gives a beleaguered Tory Party, which is failing to make any headway against Tony Blair, the chance to defend Middle England. It’s those on £30,000 and above who will fell the full force of a hike in NI, and it is these earners who are sustaining Labour in office.
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Mr Ruffley’s tour de force in the committee received accolade after accolade from Parliamentary sketch writers last week. He has turned down three opportunities to serve as an opposition spokesman, favouring instead to make his mark as a Treasury watchdog. It seems a wise choice and Mr Ruffley’s pugnaciousness ought to earn him a nomination at least for backbencher of the year in the annual Parliamentarian awards.
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