Chancellor Rishi Sunak‘s latest economic policies are a throwback “to the worst days of Thatcher,” Labour has claimed.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds highlighted a number of ways she says the Government is failing with plans announced last week in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Dodds has written to the Chancellor stating that the Job Support Scheme makes it more expensive for employers to keep workers on part-time than keeping some on full-time and making others redundant. And she said the Winter Economy Plan did not incentivise or support training.
She also said there is “no support for sectors most affected by social distancing measures and unable to take staff back”.
Mr Sunak urged the country to “live without fear” as he unveiled a new part-time Jobs Support Scheme and other measures designed to prop up the economy until a coronavirus vaccine is ready.
The Chancellor announced a multi-billion pound package of help to replace the costly furlough scheme, allowing millions to go part time while keeping around four-fifths or more of their earnings.
But the battered hospitality sector said it was not enough to save restaurant and pub jobs – and Mr Sunak himself admitted that “we can’t save every job”.
Ms Dodds said: “The Chancellor should have protected jobs with a proper worksharing scheme that incentivised employers to keep more staff on.
“Instead, he’s telling British business to start laying people off because no more help is coming.
“This wasn’t by accident, it was by design.
“The Chancellor’s sink-or-swim mentality is a throwback to the worst days of (Margaret) Thatcher and, just like in the 1980s, people on the lowest incomes will pay the highest price.
“Britain now faces an unemployment crisis, and it’s got Rishi Sunak’s name all over it.”
Mr Sunak said the burden of defeating coronavirus was “a collective responsibility shared by all because the cost is paid by all”.
He added: “We must learn to live with it – and live without fear.”