The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:22 pm on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 3:22 pm, 8th July 2020

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered the economy.

It is a privilege to open this economic debate, and to do so hot on the heels of a statement from the Chancellor that places the Government’s plan for jobs at the heart of our recovery. The past few months have tested our economy in a way that few of us, if any, have experienced before. Never in our history have a Government ordered businesses across the country to close for an extended period, and never have a Government asked so many people to halt normal activity so completely. Shops closed, offices emptied and productions lines juddered to a halt as millions worked from home.

From the onset of this pandemic, the Government worked to ensure that our frontline public services would get whatever funds they needed. To date, £49 billion has gone towards the NHS, local authorities and others working to protect us from the virus, but our public servants were not alone in that endeavour. The very fact that so many of working age were willing to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives is a sign of the cohesion and compassion that still exists within our society.