The country expects us to pull together now to get our country back on its feet. In that spirit, let me welcome the investment that the Chancellor has announced today for young people and for the hospitality trade. My observation, though, is that of the money he has brought forward, the capital is only about 5% to 6% of the budget that he has earmarked for the next four or five years. What that means in my region is 50p per person per week invested in so-called shovel-ready projects. That is not enough.
But crucially, there is a gaping hole in today’s announcement where support for manufacturing should be. We have 330,000 people across the west midlands on furlough in construction, manufacturing and the car business. I believe that the sharp ends to the furlough arrangements will put many people out of work, and there is no subsidy scheme for new cars of the type that has been announced in France and Germany. We want to be the capital of green manufacturing. I fear that, from today, we are now looking at manufacturing meltdown.