Sunak: financial hope at risk from national lockdown calls

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hope: Chancellor Sunak says hope is being dampened by lockdown calls
Hope: Chancellor Sunak says hope is being dampened by lockdown calls

Related tags: Rishi Sunak, Coronavirus, House of commons, Parliament, Legal, Legislation

Repeated calls for a national lockdown by Labour are putting people’s livelihoods at risk, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons today (Thursday 22 October).

Responding to shadow Chancellor and Labour MP Anneliese Dodds’ calls for a national lockdown, Sunak said the heart of the debate was a balance between protecting lives and livelihoods.

“We believe it is right to be honest and there is no easy cost-based answer, we’re doing everything we can to save lives and protect livelihoods,” Sunak said after announcing further financial support​ for employees as well as support for pubs under tier two restrictions.

“We’re able to offer a localised and tiered approach [of support] and that’s why the support I’ve announced is generous and offers support to keep workers and trading.”

Put at risk by calls of lockdown

The additional support was hope, which he said was being put at risk by Labour’s repeated calls for a national lockdown.

This morning, Sunak revealed a range of support for pubs and hospitality businesses operating under tier two restrictions, as well as additional employment support which he called one of the most generous.

Sunak said he was also doubling the value of grants for people who are self-employed.

Profound uncertainty

"It is clear that even businesses that can stay open are facing profound uncertainty," he said.

MPs in the House of Commons urged the Chancellor to ensure the additional financial packages were given to businesses as soon as possible.

Sunak responded by outlining previous ongoing support such as business rates cuts and cuts to VAT, saying it would be an additional help.

Some £2bn of support had already been pushed into the economy, he said in response to criticism the Prime Minister had been trying to control the coronavirus on the cheap with the tiered system.

Related topics: Legislation

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