Labour calls for emergency ‘back to work’ summer Budget
Labour shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds is calling for an emergency summer Budget and stimulus package that focuses on job creation.
Dodds has dubbed it a “back to work Budget” and has called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to focus on combating potential structural unemployment caused by the coronavirus crisis.
New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) out today showed the number of people on UK payrolls fell by 612,000 people between March and May.
The number of people claiming work-related benefits also rose by 2.8m – a 126 per cent incresae.
Despite this, unemployment stayed unchanged at 3.9 per cent due to the government’s furlough scheme.
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However, economists are warning that there will be a round of mass redundancies as the scheme is wound down from August to October.
It is understood that Sunak is not planning to deliver a Budget before the autumn, however Dodds today urged him to reconsider.
“We are increasingly worried that the slow and confused health response is now being followed by a slow and confused response to saving jobs,” she said.
“The window is closing to protect existing jobs and encourage firms to invest in creating new ones.
“That’s why we need a cack to work Budget that has one focus – jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Boris Johnson announced earlier this month that every young person in the UK will have access to an apprenticeship in the wake of the Covid-19 economic crash.
The Prime Minister said high levels of unemployment, as a result of the crisis, were “inevitable” and that his government would be “activist and interventionist” in dealing with job losses.
It has also been speculated that Sunak has begun to develop a jobs programme to deal with the fallout, which may include plans to retrain people for green jobs.
During the last recession, Gordon Brown set up the Future Jobs Fund in an attempt to get young people back to work after the 2008 financial crash.
The £1.3bn fund created 200,000 jobs that were partly subsidised by the government, with the programme emphasising skills and training.
Lord Alastair Darling, who was chancellor under Brown, said recently that the government should look at implementing a similar programme.