Covid-19 Economic Support Package

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Anneliese Dodds Anneliese Dodds Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:50 pm, 14th October 2020

My hon. Friend puts his finger on it. It appears that experts are very clear that we are facing an unavoidable situation of rising infections that will not be stemmed unless action is taken. They predict that the Government will be forced into this position eventually, so why cannot we have decisiveness at this stage. Why can that nettle not be grasped now when it will be more effective, rather than leaving this unavoidable choice for many weeks into the future when it will be less effective? I will come to the other issues raised by my hon. Friend about the paucity of targeted support in a moment.

Time and again, Labour has had to drag Ministers to this House to explain what they will do to tackle the job crisis, and, time and again, those Ministers have either ducked the question entirely or come up with a short-term scheme that needs to be patched up again within weeks. The British people deserve better. To protect jobs—be that during a circuit breaker or under the Government’s new three-tier scheme—we need a functioning system of wage support, a proper safety net to prevent people falling into poverty, and economic support for local areas that goes hand in hand with the imposition of additional restrictions. Right now, we do not have any of those things.