Protection of Jobs and Businesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 3:44 pm, 9th September 2020

The purpose of today, and the theme of so many of the contributions that we have heard, is the need—now so desperately urgent—for the Government to change course and move away from a one-size-fits-all approach. To secure a better future for working people and businesses across our country, we need a targeted extension of the furlough arrangements for the sectors that face the biggest challenges in the months ahead. So many Labour Members have raised their constituents’ concerns. Although time constraints mean that it is not practical for me to name them all, the House will have heard their call, and Labour’s call, for the Government to change course.

We have also heard from many Government Members. Some Conservative Members have been prepared to say on the airwaves that Ministers should think again, and we heard from Stephen Crabb about that today. However, with so many jobs at risk and so many sectors in trouble, I find it extraordinary to witness such a level of complacency, from so many of the Conservative Members who are here today, about so many jobs in parts of our economy that face very difficult months ahead.

We have had a lot of statistics today, but we can have some more. In Burnley, there are 3,050 jobs in sectors hard hit by the pandemic, across aviation, manufacturing, restaurants and car manufacturing; in Bury North, there are 2,420 jobs in restaurants, pubs and clubs, hospitality and tourism; in Keighley, there are 3,700 in restaurants, pubs and clubs and childcare; and there are so many more. People in all those constituencies, and people in similar sectors in constituencies across our country, will wonder why the Government simply do not seem to want to listen.