The furlough scheme should be extended for as long as the country and my constituents need it to be extended.
Why are this Government so comfortable with putting businesses and my constituents’ livelihoods at risk? With the threat of a second lockdown and the potential for other local lockdowns, surely it just is not worth the risk. Alternatively, rather than ending the furlough scheme completely, have the Government sought to reform it so that it continues to support jobs in the worst-hit sectors and targets aid to struggling industries—something Labour is fighting for in its five-point plan? We are also demanding that if and when people do return to work, they are in a safe environment and protected against the disease.
The Government would do well to heed our call to fight for jobs, bring back our businesses, leave no one behind, keep workers safe and drive job creation. There is no room for stubbornness in a crisis like this. The Chancellor needs to think creatively, be more flexible and target support to protect jobs in the hardest hit parts of the economy.