View from the House: Many livelihoods at risk due to the ‘woefully inadequate’ virus Job Support Scheme
PUBLISHED: 08:30 17 October 2020
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As we approach the end of the furlough scheme, the future of millions of jobs hangs in the balance.
Many thousands of workers in Hampstead and Kilburn were still furloughed as of last month, and there are many more whose jobs and livelihoods depend on continued support from government to weather this crisis.
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After months of campaigning from the Labour Party, employers and trade unions to get targeted wage support, the chancellor finally announced a Job Support Scheme. As much as I welcome new support, this package is woefully inadequate.
Firstly, it has come too late for those who have already lost jobs. Secondly, the scheme makes it cheaper for an employer to have one full-time worker than keep two employees on reduced hours, threatening thousands of viable jobs. Thirdly, the package of measures does very little to support sectors that face ongoing social distancing restrictions like the hospitality sector and creative industries.
Fourthly, and perhaps most shockingly, the three million people who were excluded from the government’s initial support schemes are still being left out. Over the last six months, I’ve heard from so many creative freelancers and others in Hampstead and Kilburn who have been completely ignored by the chancellor. I have many other concerns about the so-called Winter Economic Plan, including the very low level of support for the self-employed, which I have raised with the chancellor. I will keep fighting for the jobs and livelihoods of all my constituents.
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