Protection of Jobs and Businesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:40 pm on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 3:40 pm, 9th September 2020

I think most of us agree that we are facing a triple whammy at the moment, with a public health crisis in the guise of covid, an economic crisis in which Brexit has already cost our economy billions of pounds, and climate change, which will eventually cost us a lot and is currently costing lives as well as other things that the Treasury may not be making a record of. That is certainly an expensive project as well. We are in a recession. We know that GDP fell by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020—that is 20.4%, not 2.4%—which is the largest confirmed fall of any economy in Europe and the G7, so we are facing really tough times.

I spent the summer visiting food banks—like many other Members, I am sure—and I would like to put on record my praise for the volunteers who run the Campsbourne Primary School food bank, which is providing desperately needed food for many families in Hornsey. I also want to mention another fantastic service, which is an innovation I hope others can look to. It is called Connected Communities, and it is local authority-based but works closely with the voluntary sector to pick up hard-to-reach groups of people who are not digitally aware.