Today Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer unveiled a new budget to outline this Government’s plans for the country’s economic recovery from coronavirus.
Included within the budget was announcement of a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme and a Job Retention Bonus which plans to support employers to bring people back to work from furlough and to ensure young people have the opportunity to enter the workforce.
Omitted from the budget were; any details on the Government’s plans around an infrastructure revolution, details on support for workers around reskilling and retraining if they lose their jobs, any measures to encourage those who are traced to self-isolate including an increase to sick pay or a plan for the self-employed.
Kate Dearden, Head of Research and Policy at Community, said:
“While we welcome the news and positive steps that a Job Retention Bonus and Kickstart Scheme will bring, today’s budget as a whole was disappointing. There was an opportunity for the Government to show that they have a serious economic plan for how to aid our recovery which centres workers, good quality jobs and is backed up by significant investment. However, on most issues and where workers needed to see a real plan and proper investment, the Government have failed to deliver.”
“A Kickstart Scheme and a Job Retention Bonus won’t paper over the cracks that are already appearing as we see companies take the decision to make thousands of workers redundant. We needed a targeted approach for different sectors, and different areas of the economy. A one size fits all approach has already meant that thousands of workers, including the self-employed, have missed out on Government support through the crisis. Lessons must be learnt as we look towards our recovery or the Government risk making the same mistakes again, which will be damaging for workers and for our economy.”
You can read Kate’s blog here on how the Government’s recovery plans must centre workers.