Protection of Jobs and Businesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Anthony Browne Anthony Browne Conservative, South Cambridgeshire 3:15 pm, 9th September 2020

I want to join my colleagues on the Government Benches and, indeed, the Opposition Benches in congratulating the Government on their generous and nimble support for industry in this economic crisis. It has been an extremely difficult time, but it would have been far worse if the Government had not intervened in the way that they have. As the trend is to give figures for our constituencies, I will tell the House that South Cambridgeshire has had 13,600 jobs furloughed—saved—and nearly £90 million in grants and loans to businesses. We also beat Warrington South, with 122,000 meals eaten out and enjoyed by people, including myself. I know from the emails and the talks I have had with businesses and pubs in my constituency that, for many of them, this support made the difference between them failing and thriving. Many of them are now looking forward to the future—we are not out of it yet, but people are a lot more positive.

It is a feature of crises that it is far more difficult politically to get out of them than to get into them, whether the lockdown restrictions or the economic support package. The Labour party has called for continued subsidies, but it will not say when those would end. That means that it is calling for subsidies without end, which means borrowing without end. I do not believe in borrowing without end, because we have to pay off the debt at some point, whether it is us, our children or our grandchildren.