In her first major speech as Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds MP has called 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”.
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”.
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.”
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to the Government’s announcement on jobs and infrastructure, said:
“Unemployment has climbed to its highest level in a generation, and our country is suffering the worst economic hit of all industrialised nations. But instead of the Back-to-Work Budget our country needs focusing on one thing – jobs, jobs, jobs – the Chancellor will only be providing an ‘update’ on the economy.
“We urgently need the Conservatives to abandon their ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the economic support schemes, which will inevitably lead to additional unemployment. And we need concrete action and a laser-like focus preventing further job losses and supporting future employment.”
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, commenting on IFS research on the fall in peoples incomes post lockdown, said:
“This research makes clear how hard low-income people have been hit as a result of this crisis. This comes on top of huge numbers of UK families lacking basic financial resilience after a decade of squeezed living standards – a quarter of families lacked £100 in savings even before the crisis hit.
“We need a ‘Back to Work Budget’ now which meets the scale of this crisis supporting those working in heavily-affected industries and those reliant on social security.
“We must also urgently expand the scope and sufficiency of statutory sick pay – otherwise, many people will be faced with a choice of feeding their families and paying the bills, or protecting their own health and that of others”.
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on ‘double injustice’ for those on low incomes following Covid-19, said:
“This report underlines how the Covid-19 crisis is exacerbating existing inequalities in the UK. Rapid action must be taken to prevent the crisis worsening living standards even further.
“The Conservative Government must speedily hold a ‘Back to Work Budget’ focused on decent jobs right across the UK. As this report rightly argues, we need to prevent additional unemployment, support those who have become unemployed and support the creation of new job opportunities. These measures must reflect local circumstances and particularly seek to level up existing inequalities in infrastructure, living standards and skills across the UK.”
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, commenting on the Bank of England’s announcement to add a further £100bn into the UK economy through quantitative easing, said:
“Clearly this is an unprecedented intervention by the Bank of England. However, the impact of monetary measures are necessarily limited in the current macroeconomic environment.
“We now need the Government to step up to the plate and take the fiscal measures required. This is especially important given that the UK is lagging behind other nations in announcing its stimulus package. We need a Back to Work Budget with just one focus – jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, is today [Tuesday] calling for an urgent “Back to Work Budget” to protect UK jobs at a crucial phase of the coronavirus recovery. The Shadow Chancellor warns that the country cannot afford for the government to make the same mistakes on the economy as during the coronavirus health crisis.
Dodds is calling on the Chancellor to publish an urgent package of economic measures with a clear focus: “jobs, jobs, jobs.” The intervention comes after the Treasury was reported to have shelved plans for an emergency summer Budget.
Official figures on unemployment will be published today by the Office for National Statistics. They follow statistics earlier this month showing job vacancies at a three-year low, raising fears of mass unemployment.
Arguing that the Government’s slow health response to coronavirus has worsened its economic damage, Dodds is warning that without swift action from the Treasury the UK risks falling even further behind other nations. Other countries, including Germany, have already announced stimulus packages to support the post-Covid economic recovery.
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds MP, said:
“The Government was too slow to recognise the scale of the health crisis from coronavirus and we are already paying the economic price.
“We are increasingly worried that the slow and confused health response is now being followed by a slow and confused response to saving jobs. The window is closing to protect existing jobs and encourage firms to invest in creating new ones.
“That’s why we need a Back to Work Budget that has one focus – jobs, jobs, jobs. As a constructive opposition, we want to work with government to get the right solutions to the problems the country faces.”
Anneliese Dodds – Co-Operative Party
History has taught us that caring for communities, tackling climate change, protecting workers and consumers, and sharing wealth more fairly cannot be left to the market alone.
Britain is the sixth richest country in the world. But this figure masks a much more troubling economic picture. When the UK’s richest six people control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million and when eight million people have trouble putting food on the table, it is clear that our economy is not working.
Covid-19 has brought Britain’s inequality problem into sharp focus. Deaths in the most deprived areas have been more than double those in the least deprived. BAME people are at far greater risk of dying from the disease than white people. The frontline workers we rely on to take the greatest risks during this pandemic experience some of the lowest pay and live in some of the most overcrowded housing.
This inequality is not caused by coronavirus, but inequality left us underprepared and vulnerable to its devastation. This crisis has exposed the precariousness of work, the strain on household incomes, the gaping holes in our safety net and the extent of underfunding of our public services. But it has also revealed our community spirit, our willingness to help a neighbour, to meet crisis with kindness. This new-found co-operation is something we must hold onto.
It is critical too that we learn the lessons of past recessions – learning not just from the policy choices made during the recovery but the causes of their onset. We entered lockdown as one of the most unequal countries in Europe – and this is relevant to our understanding of how we exit lockdown. Throughout history, recessions have been preceded by growing inequality, leaving economies vulnerable and condemning their recovery to being short-lived and weak.
The Co-operative Party’s report ‘Owning the Future’ explores reasons for this. History has taught us that caring for communities, tackling climate change, protecting workers and consumers, and sharing wealth more fairly cannot be left to the market alone. Instead, we must take measures which, if adopted, narrow inequality by widening peoples’ stake in the economy – ending the shareholder primacy that concentrates wealth and power in the hands of a small number of investors and executives. Polling shows that this is something the public back: only 10% of people feel that the pre-coronavirus economy prioritised sharing wealth fairly, but two-thirds want this to be the priority in what comes next.
We cannot afford to be laissez-faire. As well as ensuring the short term measures are in place to guide the economy out of lockdown, such as assurances for workers that their workplaces are safe and for employers that the transition back to work is gradual and flexible, we must put in place the strongest possible foundations for a sustained, resilient and fair recovery.
It is clear that this cannot mean a return to business as usual. A fairer economy must be more attuned to its communities, more resilient to shocks and more productive. This won’t come about by chance: it requires proactive intervention to broaden peoples’ stake in the economy, change the way economic rewards are distributed, and shift the balance of power.
Economies characterised by a bigger co-operative sector have been shown to be more equitable, productive and accountable. Rather than simply extracting profit, co-operatives benefit the communities, consumers and employees with which they interact. They represent the kind of economy we aspire to – one where business and social responsibility go hand-in-hand.
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to GDP figures, said:
“These figures are deeply worrying. They come a day after the OECD suggested that the UK’s fall in GDP for this year will be worse than that of every other industrialised country.
“As a constructive opposition, Labour has been pushing the Government to take the action that is needed now to prevent an even deeper recession. That means above all getting a grip on test, track and isolate, so that people can safely return to work and consumers can have confidence in entering businesses. It also means changing its one-size-fits-all approach to support packages, which risk additional waves of unemployment.”
“Today’s evidence from the OECD is deeply worrying, showing the UK was particularly exposed when the Coronavirus crisis hit.
“The Government’s failure to get on top of the health crisis, delay going into lockdown and chaotic mismanagement of the exit from lockdown are making the economic impact of this crisis worse.
“As a constructive opposition, Labour urges the Government to look at much-needed solutions to minimise the economic impact. The Government must speedily get on top of test, track and isolate, and swap its ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to economic support for an approach focused on minimising unemployment and fostering economic recovery.”