I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from “House” to the end of the Question and add:
“welcomes the Government’s response to Covid-19 which has already protected the livelihoods of over 12 million people through the eight-month long Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme;
acknowledges the support for hundreds of thousands of businesses up and down the country through unprecedented loan schemes, business grants and tax cuts;
further welcomes the help to support, create, and protect jobs through measures such as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, a temporary cut to VAT and stamp duty, increased incentives for apprenticeships, and the new Kickstart Scheme, as set out in the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’
policy paper published in July;
and further acknowledges that any deviation from this Government’s proposed plan will cause damage to the United Kingdom economy.”
The House needs no reminding of the scale of the economic challenge facing our country. Recent GDP figures confirm that we have entered an acute recession on a speed and scale that we have never seen before. An economic crisis on this scale means that whatever the Government do, jobs will be lost, businesses will close and, as the Chancellor said last month, “hard times are here”. We should not underestimate the challenge ahead, but neither should we underestimate the Government’s resolve or that of the British people.
From the outset of this pandemic, the Government have acted decisively to protect people’s livelihoods, with one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support anywhere in the world. We are doing everything we can to recover our economy, support businesses and give everyone the opportunity of good and secure work. Our economic response is moving through a careful, co-ordinated plan, in three phases: first, the immediate response, which started with the Budget in March; secondly, the specific plan for jobs announced in July, to protect, create and support jobs; and thirdly, rebuilding, on which we will say more in the autumn Budget and the comprehensive spending review. Let me take this opportunity to thank the many people—including Members from all parties—businesses and other organisations that have brought forward ideas and suggestions to help us to shape that plan.