The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Shadow Exchequer Secretary (Treasury) 3:46 pm, 8th July 2020

I strongly agree, and it will not surprise the hon. Gentleman that I will come on to make exactly that point.

For some people in secure jobs and on decent pay, the lockdown restrictions have been an opportunity to clear the credit card or build up savings, but for so many others—particularly the young and the low-paid—the labour market shock has been severe, and so has the impact on their pockets. Behind every one of these statistics are people—families and communities who have played their part in getting our country through this crisis, keeping our supermarkets stocked and essential services running; caring for us when we need it, from the brilliant staff who work in our NHS to the dedicated, often disgracefully low-paid and, this week, it seems, maligned staff who work in our care homes; and, with some notable high-profile exceptions, doing everything that was asked of them, staying home to save lives, looking out for their neighbours and volunteering in their communities. It is a truly national response, and it is not over yet. Coronavirus is the biggest crisis of most of our lifetimes. A resurgence of the virus remains the biggest threat to lives and livelihoods at the present time. And the health of our economy cannot be separated from the health of our country. That is why the Government’s failure to put in place an effective track and trace system is so concerning. The Chancellor did not mention it this afternoon, but he knows as well as we do that, without it, the risk to public health and to our economy are that much greater.