The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:54 pm on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Richard Drax Richard Drax Conservative, South Dorset 5:54 pm, 8th July 2020

I entirely concur with my hon. Friend and neighbour in West Dorset—I welcome him to his place.

I have time quickly to mention the armed services. The covid crisis has shown how professional, dedicated and truly treasured the armed services are—in addition, of course, to all those who work in the NHS, to whom I pay equal tribute. We must never forget that the armed services need to be funded properly, and in my view 2% of GDP is not enough; we need 3% or 4%. I urge the Treasury to keep fighting on behalf of those whose serve us with such distinction.

On Dorset Council and police, both face huge extra costs because of covid and the hundreds of thousands who descended on our beaches and coves over recent weekends. Dorset Council estimates that it is spending about £50 million a month on covid provision. It has done an outstanding job, and I pay tribute to Dorset Council and to Dorset police for the selfless way in which people have worked over many hours and many weekends for no extra pay. I thank them all.

I will end by saying, we locked the country down once; I recommend to the Treasury that we never, ever do it again.