Shadow Chancellor calls for ‘Back to Work Budget’ in first major speech
In her first major speech as Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds MP will tomorrow (Friday 3 July) call on the government to “recognise the scale of the challenge we face” by committing to a “Back to Work Budget focused on jobs, jobs, jobs”.
As well as setting out four tests the Chancellor’s ‘Summer Economic Statement’ must meet to deliver for Britain, she will call on the government to extend furlough schemes in areas that are forced into local lockdowns, “so that localised second waves don’t wash away businesses and jobs in their wake”.
Ms Dodds’ four tests for the recovery are:
- A focus on creating, supporting and protecting jobs
- That it produces a bounce-back effect across the country
- That every project announced is carbon neutral or carbon reducing
- That the government commits, at the very least, to not increase taxes or cut support for low and middle-income people, during the recovery period
Highlighting the government’s record of over-promising and under-delivering on investment over the last decade, Ms Dodds will say: “We need guarantees of delivery, not just warm words. For 10 years, the Conservatives have talked and talked: they have not built.”
And she will also criticise the Chancellor for taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to supporting the economy, when action is needed now to prevent an unemployment crisis. The Shadow Chancellor will say “the reward for months of sacrifice cannot be a redundancy notice”.
The Chancellor has also been reported to be reluctant to support individual areas of the economy because he doesn’t want to ‘pick winners.’ The Shadow Chancellor will pour scorn on the Chancellor’s belief that “helping a local pub or family-run restaurant that has been boarded up at the direction of government is somehow cheating the natural order of things”.
On supporting businesses:
“It has been heartbreaking to hear from many of them [small business owners] in recent weeks, how they feel their businesses slipping through their fingers because of a temporary lack of cashflow even though with the right, targeted support now, they would be perfectly viable in the long term.
“That frustration, that anger, at working hard all your life, playing by the rules, doing the right thing, waiting your place patiently in the queue, only to find it snatched away from you by a combination of this terrible crisis and government’s refusal to help. That isn’t about ‘picking winners’. That’s basic fairness.”
On the government’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to ending support schemes:
“As with the lifting of lockdown, what we have now is an exit without a strategy. Government must abandon its one-size-fits-all wind-down of the Job Protection and self-employed schemes.
“We need a targeted strategy that acknowledges that workers in struggling sectors cannot and should not be treated the same way as workers in sectors that are already back to full capacity. This is not about ‘picking winners’, in the Chancellor’s words. It is about protecting those who have lost – through no fault of their own. It is about giving people across the country a fair chance. The reward for months of sacrifice cannot be a redundancy notice.
“This week we saw a wave of companies announcing enormous job losses – because the government is refusing to shift from its one-size-fits-all approach. To avoid the same flood of redundancy notices for workers within smaller companies later on this month, government must act now – and abandon its one-size-fits-all approach.”