I guess we are all shaped by our past. My parents left school at 15 and 14 years old. That decision was not out of choice but of economic necessity although they would probably say that’s just how it was in those days. My mother grew up in a large and close family on a council estate in West London. My father spent much of his childhood between children’s homes. I was luckier. I arrived at a time when our family was moving slowly but steadily upward on the back of my father’s long hours at a tyre company and later IBM and self-employment. My big break in life came when I won a free place at a grammar school – after that, as they say, I never looked back – I learned about the importance of hard work and opportunity, but also about the real pressures and strains of financial hardship. So as a Treasury minister I remain determined to do whatever possible to support both opportunity and those who struggle the most financially. We are helping people with the cost of living, and investing in public services like the NHS while getting debt falling – all part of… Read full this story
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