Protection of Jobs and Businesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 3:32 pm, 9th September 2020

I wish to continue.

When talking about large organisations, from the Southbank Centre to Oxfam and the National Trust, we must also remember the small organisations. It is estimated that 90% of black, Asian and minority community organisations will be gone by the end of the financial year. If we think of what has just happened across this country, it is clear that we need those organisations. The Government need to step up and ensure that they are there.

The sector is calling for an extension of the coronavirus job retention scheme with greater flexibility; a gift aid emergency relief package; the repurposing of the national fund, which is worth £500 million, to allow access to support charities and services; the effective and efficient distribution of the shared prosperity fund; and the creation of a community wealth fund using dormant assets. It is crucial that is brought forward now, before it is too late.

If I may, Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to raise one issue concerning my constituency. We will be the second worst hit constituency in the country, and therefore we need some action now. While the Government have supported the BioYorkshire plan, which will create 4,000 jobs, they are tying that up in a devolution deal. I therefore urge the Government to bring that funding forward so that we can provide that safety net now to stop us moving into an unemployment crisis in York, which no one in this House wants to see. The Minister could solve that problem for us.