UK Sunak Scrapping Million Jobs, Labor Party Says Bloomberg


© Reuters

(Bloomberg) – Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has put more than a million jobs at risk in industries unable to reopen – or only able to do so partially – due to ongoing restrictions on coronaviruses, Britain’s opposition Labor Party said.

Sunak last week unveiled measures to support businesses and workers during the winter, as part of a plan to revive the struggling economy and at the same time contain the resurgent pandemic. But the package had little to offer for nightclubs or the event industry that have yet to reopen following the nationwide lockout in March, or for theaters and the arts struggling to make profits on a small audience.

“The Chancellor is throwing entire sectors of our economy into scrap, damaging lives and livelihoods, and threatening recovery,” Phantom Labor Minister Lucy Powell said on Sunday. “Many businesses have no idea when they can reopen. The decision to exclude these businesses from the employment support program adds insult to injury. “

After spending £ 39 billion ($ 50 billion) so far on a program that has supported more than 9 million workers by paying up to 80% of their wages, Sunak is ending the program at the end of the month of October. Britain, he said, must adjust to a “new normal” which will inevitably lead to more job losses. “I cannot save all the businesses, I cannot save all the jobs,” he warned last week.

“Viable” jobs

At the heart of Sunak’s plan is an “employment assistance program” which subsidizes employees who are able to return to work for at least a third of their hours. The Chancellor has repeatedly told House of Commons lawmakers and reporters that the goal is to support jobs that remain “viable”.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE 🙂 said last week that the change in support could push an additional 2.2 million people out of work in the UK in the coming months.

Sunday’s Labor Party focused its analysis on industries that are not allowed to reopen due to government restrictions or that can only do so in reduced capacity. Online jobs include 69,000 people employed in nightclubs, 428,000 in pubs and bars, 369,000 in sports clubs, 142,000 event caterers, 11,000 exhibition organizers and 18,000 conference organizers , said Labor.

About 90,000 people working in the arts, as well as half a million people involved in the wedding industry as caterers, florists, photographers, dressmakers and beauticians, are also struggling, the party said.

Responding to Labor’s study, Conservative Party co-chair Amanda Milling said Sunak’s program announced last week adds to £ 190 billion in spending so far for the pandemic response, which she said. she described as “one of the most comprehensive support programs in the world. . “

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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