Public Health Restrictions: Government Economic Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:38 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:38 pm, 13th October 2020

If the hon. Lady looks at international comparators, she will see that the Government’s package of support—more than £200 billion—is generous. I point her to the job support scheme, for example. A number of colleagues across the House question whether the 67% is sufficient, but the point is that it is dynamic in conjunction with the additional funding that has been put into welfare. [Interruption.] If the hon. Lady lets me answer the question, she will hear that I am talking about the support for people in businesses that have closed, which is an issue that all colleagues across the House take very seriously. [Interruption.] Well, that applies to regional equality. Opposition Members may not like the answer, but the question was: how does the UK compare with international comparators. I am pointing to the fact that the package of measures put in place—the furlough at 80% for eight months—was much more generous than that of most other countries. The business support package, including business rents, tax deferrals, loans, such as the bounce back loans and help to grow loans—we can go through the full list—bears comparison. The question over the past 24 hours is whether the latest measures bear international comparison. The point I was making is that if one looks at the French, German, Italian and other schemes, the two thirds support for those businesses that are closed, coupled with a dynamic relationship with the support on universal credit does bear favourable comparison with those, which is why I stand by my comments that, internationally, the UK has a world-leading package.