Sunday 20 September 2020 / 10:30 PM Anneliese Dodds / Economy

RECOVER, RETRAIN, REBUILD: SHADOW CHANCELLOR SETS OUT STEPS TO A BETTER, MORE SECURE FUTURE FOR BRITAIN

Labour Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds will today (Monday 21 September) set out Labour’s alternative three-step approach to a better, more secure future for Britain: Recover Jobs, Retrain Workers, Rebuild Business.

The Shadow Chancellor will also publish a damning “file of failure” that exposes the billions of pounds wasted and mismanaged by the Conservative government during the Covid crisis.

Paying tribute to the “extraordinary sacrifices” of the British people over the last six months, Dodds will set out Labour’s three steps for Britain’s economy:

Recover Jobs: With a Job Recovery Scheme to enable businesses in key sectors to bring back more staff on reduced hours, with government subsidising a proportion of wages for the rest of the working week.

Retrain Workers: With a National Retraining Strategy to help people whose hours have been cut to increase their skills or to retrain in a new area, and to enable people who have lost their jobs to transition into new work.

Rebuild Business: With a Business Rebuilding Programme to target government support to struggling but viable businesses in the lead up to the Chancellor’s debt repayments cliff edge next year.

Condemning the “enormous amounts of public money” the Conservative government has wasted and mismanaged this year – a “file of failure” that runs into the billions, Dodds will reveal that:

  • £130 million was handed over to a Conservative donor for testing kits that turned out to be unsafe
  • £150 million was spent on facemasks that weren’t suitable for frontline NHS staff
  • £192 million was directed to botched outsourced contracts that have failed to deliver, especially in the critical area of test, trace and isolate
  • £234 million was awarded to Edenred for a school meals contract that is now under investigation by the National Audit Office
  • A potential £2.6 billion of so-called Jobs Retention Bonus is set to go to businesses who were going to bring staff back to work anyway

Dodds will also criticise Chancellor Rishi Sunak for handing over public money to support businesses with no strings attached, in stark contrast to the more careful policies pursued by other countries. She will contrast Mr Sunak’s “cavalier” attitude to spending public money with her “responsible approach to the national finances”.

The Shadow Chancellor is expected to say:

“I’ve never missed an opportunity to confront financial mismanagement. I’ve spent my political career fighting international money laundering and tax evasion.

“Taking on the tax dodgers, going toe to toe with the tech giants, lifting the lid on shell companies and stopping speculators from driving up prices for ordinary people.

“While the Chancellor was profiting from a financial system that took huge risks and then passed them onto ordinary people, I helped to rein it in.”

Contrasting Labour’s flexible and targeted steps to the Government’s one-size-fits-all approach, Dodds will say:

“Recover jobs, retrain workers and rebuild business. Three steps to a better, more secure future. Government working hand in hand with business and trade unions, in the best interests of our country.

“This is an ambitious Labour vision – where security and fairness aren’t just aspirations, but where they are a reality for families and communities across our country.

“New leadership so people can have hope for the future, with a government that they can trust, not one which plays political games.”

Dodds will also use her speech to outline a vision for a new partnership between government and business, saying:

“As Chancellor, I would restore that trust with business. Because I understand what a critical role business plays in creating jobs and supporting livelihoods across the country.”