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Government must act to urgently protect jobs and livelihoods in Portsmouth

In support of the ‘People Before Profit’ day of action organised by Portsmouth unions, city MP Stephen Morgan said:

“The Chancellor’s furlough flip flop has caused real chaos as he prepares to tear up Winter Economy Plan before autumn is out.

This has created unnecessary anxiety for many and will come too late for those who have lost jobs after he initially removed support for struggling sectors.

As MP for Portsmouth South I have been calling on the Government to act urgently to protect jobs and livelihoods to ensure speed and consistency of support – so that local areas receive the same level of support when additional restrictions are introduced, rather than weeks or months afterwards, more discretion for local authorities by reopening a £1.3 billion discretionary grants scheme so that they can respond to the needs of businesses and workers in their area rather than waiting for central government to act, and reforming the government’s wage support offer – by ensuring it genuinely incentivises employers to keep staff on, even when they have been forced to close.

Despite repeated warnings by Labour to replace furlough with a targeted wage subsidy that incentivised employers to keep workers on, the Chancellor introduced a Job Support Scheme that forces employers to flip a coin to decide who stays and who goes.

If Government doesn’t take the action that is needed Britain risks an unemployment crisis greater than we have seen in decades – and Rishi Sunak’s name will be all over it.

Together as a party, with the unions and local people, we must continue to hold the Government to account and secure a plan which protects Portsmouth jobs and livelihoods”.