There have been 3 exchanges between Mary Kelly Foy and Steve Barclay
|1||Tue 3rd November 2020||
Lockdown: Economic Support
|3 interactions (210 words)|
|2||Tue 13th October 2020||
Public Health Restrictions: Government Economic Support
|3 interactions (218 words)|
|3||Tue 6th October 2020||
Areas with Additional Public Health Restrictions: Economic Support
|3 interactions (336 words)|
My right hon. Friend is right to pick up on that grievance culture. Through our ability to act on a UK basis, we have been able to offer the unprecedented support that we have to date. Furlough has always been a UK-wide scheme and, as the Prime Minister said, the Government will always be there to provide support to all parts of the United Kingdom.
The hon. Lady raises a serious issue and one that all Members of the House care deeply about, but it is also important to look at the package as a whole. We have put in an additional £9 billion of welfare support, recognising the increasing pressures. That includes the £20 uplift on universal credit, the lifting of the minimum income guarantee and the various other measures in the package. Above all, retaining jobs and getting people back into the labour market is the best way that we can protect people from poverty.
There is always a balance between the operability of schemes, the speed at which one can deploy them and how bespoke one makes them. I know that my hon. Friend is a huge champion of the ceramics industry, and I know it is important to Stoke and to businesses in his constituency. If there are specific issues, I am happy to pick them up offline with him, but the key message we usually get from businesses is the importance of getting packages to people quickly and in particular of addressing the cash flow challenges that they face.
We have addressed this already in a number of questions. The point is that it is not simply two thirds; it is dynamic, aligned with universal credit, which then moves to top that up. The package of support, which is above that provided by many of our European comparators, is, if combined with universal credit, at 88% in many circumstances, not 67%.
I know that the 10 pm curfew is an issue that a number of colleagues across the House have raised. As I said a moment ago, it is about getting the balance right. We have striven to ensure that venues are able to continue to be open most of the evening rather than, as we saw in the initial lockdown, having to close. It is about protecting the majority of the evening and getting the balance right with the later night socialising that the chief medical officer and others are most concerned about in terms of the risk to public health. It is something that we continue to keep under review and learn from other countries around the world. As I have said, other countries are addressing similar issues.
This is one of those sectors that has been hit hard both emotionally and economically. One can see the human distress and the impact of the virus in such cases, at what is a pivotal moment in people’s lives, and also the economic distress. It is certainly not the case that this is about the Government letting businesses fail in that regard. The consequences of the pandemic hit particular sectors more acutely than others. We have put in place, as I said earlier, a comprehensive package of support, but it is also the case that not every single job will be protected. Where that is the case, we need to work with people to ensure that we are able to support them back into the labour market.