Westminster Diary - Our Plan for Jobs

As we continue to ease the lockdown restrictions, the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out in Parliament the next phase of our economic response to the coronavirus. This is a very substantial and unprecedented further intervention worth £30 billion to safeguard jobs here in Rugby and Bulkington, and throughout the country.

This builds on the Government’s existing commitment to do whatever it takes to support businesses and families during these extraordinary times. In Rugby alone, 12,000 jobs have been protected by the furlough scheme and to ensure that these are retained as the furlough scheme concludes, the Chancellor has announced that the Government will pay employers a £1,000 bonus for each furloughed employee who has been continuously employed until 31 January 2021. This enables business to have confidence to keep staff as we move into the economic recovery.

However, we also need to ensure that the next generation are able to find employment – and we already know that the economic disruption caused by coronavirus has disproportionately affected our young people. To give them the opportunities they need, the Government will Kickstart job creation by investing £2 billion to create new high-quality jobs for any 16-24 year old who is at risk of long-term unemployment. This funding will be made available directly to employers and comes alongside an additional investment in Apprenticeships and Traineeships so that every young person has the opportunity to develop the skills they need to succeed.

With some fantastic pubs and restaurants in Rugby and the surrounding area, I am also pleased that the Government is taking further steps to support the leisure and hospitality sector, which have been severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. As well as the unprecedented £1.57 billion rescue package announced last week, the Chancellor is cutting VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent until 12 January 2021. These vital measures will help to protect jobs, particularly in the tourism and entertainment, sector which I know are incredibly valuable both to our economy and to local residents.

I know that the past few months have been incredibly challenging, but thanks to the resilience we have all shown and the sacrifices we have made, I believe that we are emerging from this crisis. Now, we must ensure that we deliver on levelling up Britain and bouncing back from the coronavirus outbreak.