Protection of Jobs and Businesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:52 pm on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Anneliese Dodds Anneliese Dodds Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:52 pm, 9th September 2020

My hon. Friend has been such a champion for those jobs in York and, indeed, for jobs throughout the country. I say to her exactly what businesses in tourism right across the UK have been saying to me when I have spoken to them: they do not want a handout; they just want a fair chance. If they end up having to close their businesses—if they end up having to lay off staff—it will take a very long time to build those businesses back up again. The Government should be listening to them.

Indeed, the Government should be listening, as I said, to the Government Members who are concerned about the withdrawal of the scheme. More than half a million at-risk jobs belong to people living in the constituencies of the Chancellor’s newest colleagues on the Government Benches—over 18,000 in Burton, more than 20,000 in Watford and in excess of 21,000 in Milton Keynes North—but so far, the Chancellor is not listening. Of course, he has not come to the Chamber today to hear what Members have to say about the very real fears of their constituents. We have not heard him speak in the House since the summer recess, despite the fact that our country is in the grip of a jobs crisis.

The Labour party, trade unions, think-tanks, business and even the Chancellor’s own Back Benchers can all see that what the Government are doing will make our jobs crisis worse and lead to untold misery for millions of people, as well as reducing our economic capacity for the future. We are all sounding the alarm; the question is: what will it take for this Government to listen?