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Financial and Social Emergency Support Package

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:11 pm on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 5:11 pm, 25th March 2020

I support the words of Mr Speaker last week, when he made clear the practices that Ministers should pursue, and I believe that this is an act of bad faith on the part of the Prime Minister.

Let me make other demands on the Government. Here is a small one: can apprentices, many of whom are paid just £3.90 an hour, be furloughed too? Can they please get 100%, not 80%, because they earn so little? As I asked the Chancellor yesterday, can the scheme be flexible? Workers put on reduced hours must be eligible, so that the shortfall in wages can be made up. Some businesses will lose part of their operation. We need them to carry on in a reduced form, so that would be the right solution for them.