Tuesday 17 March 2020 / 5:57 PM Economy / John McDonnell

John McDonnell responding to Chancellor’s coronavirus update

John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor, responding to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s coronavirus update, said:

“People are being laid off today and losing their incomes. We are disappointed that this package does not address their concerns.

“The further announcements laid out by the Chancellor lack the certainty required amidst growing public anxiety and still do not go far enough in protecting workers, renters and those who are losing their jobs, or in fully supporting businesses at the scale necessary.

“In particular, the Chancellor’s claim that new forms of employment support will be developed does not appreciate the urgency and gravity of the situation. Workers and businesses need to know now that they will be supported, not in a few days’ time.

“Labour will continue to engage with the Government to ensure we have the proper scale of interventions required to secure proper funding of public services at the time of crisis, public control and oversight of those key services, a strong safety net, and the wellbeing of all.”


Notes to Editors:

  • The Chancellor’s business proposals were mostly focused on loans and loan guarantees at scale, rather than grants;
  • It is not clear how much resourcing is being given to the British Business Bank for its expanded remit;
  • The Government has provided no certainty on a support package for airlines and airports;
  • The Chancellor and Prime Minister indicated there was voluntary support by banks for three month mortgage holidays, but did not set out any legislated backing for this;
  • The Chancellor and Prime Minister did not set out in their statements any changes on renters and evictions;
  • The Chancellor and Prime Minister did not set out any further changes to Statutory Sick Pay or Universal Credit in their statements.