Areas with Additional Public Health Restrictions: Economic Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 6th October 2020.

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Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:39 pm, 6th October 2020

The shadow Chancellor almost implies that the resurgence of the virus is unique to the United Kingdom, yet anyone who looks across the continent will see that many other countries, as we come out of the summer period, are seeing exactly the same trend and are dealing with it in in many of the same ways as we are in the United Kingdom.

The hon. Lady says that support has not been offered to those suffering from economic harm, but that ignores, for example, the announcement that I made in the Chamber some weeks ago about the £1,500 of support for businesses for every three weeks of closure as the result of a local lockdown—[Interruption.] Hon. Members should let me answer, rather than chuntering from a sedentary position.

The hon. Lady also ignores the fact that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor has extended many of the measures that we introduced in our initial response, including the package of loans, the tax deferrals and pay as you grow. Those are universal offers to support businesses, irrespective of whether they are in areas of acute lockdown or otherwise.

As I said at the start, and as my right hon. Friend the Chancellor said yesterday, we will keep listening, and we will keep striving to be creative in response to the challenges that we face. Where we can, he will act. That shows our willingness to adapt. The package of measures that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor brought to the Chamber just a few days ago, with the winter plan, illustrates that willingness to listen, to evolve and to respond to the virus, as the economic needs of the country dictate.