The Chancellor’s emergency financial statement falls far short of a much needed ‘Green’ Back to Work Budget. A decade of Tory austerity has left public services ill-prepared to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The Chancellor’s announcements failed to reverse rising child poverty, low pay and drastic cuts to local authorities that disproportionally impact the North.
Before the pandemic, the North East already suffered the highest unemployment rate in the country. Following the winding down of the furlough scheme, and, the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit at the end of the year, unemployment is likely to increase further. The Government failed to bring forward a package of measures on the scale required to tackle the systemic long-term unemployment in our region as the chancellor himself seems to acknowledge when he announced a further Budget statement in the Autumn. Labour will continue to urge the Government to focus on preventing unemployment, supporting the unemployed and creating the jobs of the future.