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

One of the advantages of coming after the Chancellor has spoken for two and a half hours is that many of the same issues come up a second time. He was asked about this, and he said that we have a commitment and he was not going to pre-empt any future announcement from the Prime Minister. Given that that was the Chancellor’s response, I can say that I am certainly not going to pre-empt anything from the Prime Minister, but we recognise the issue. That is an area on which, as the Chancellor covered earlier, the Prime Minister will make any subsequent announcements.

We have announced today £2 billion of green homes grants, which will save energy and, just as importantly, save households money on their bills. Finally, our £40 million green jobs challenge fund will invest in shovel-ready natural capital projects, such as creating new parks and open spaces, cleaning rivers, restoring peatland and helping to plant many more trees during this Parliament. Taken together, these measures will help to ensure that the future is not only more prosperous but happier, healthier and greener too.

Covid-19 has tested our economy to the extreme. The challenges we face in rebuilding are great, but the opportunities are greater still. We can build back better than before, with stronger public services, a new generation of infrastructure that brings our country together and new jobs and opportunities in every region. It will not be easy—it will take all our ingenuity and commitment—but as the Chancellor said earlier today, it is not this crisis that will define us, but our response. The resilience, compassion and determination shown by the British people has carried us through the hardest months, and now, this same sense of collective purpose will drive our recovery too.