Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds will renew calls tomorrow for a July “back to work budget” in her first major set piece speech since being appointed to the role.
She will urge chancellor Rishi Sunak to “recognise the scale of the challenge we face” and pledge a summer budget that focuses on “jobs, jobs, jobs”.
Dodds, who will be speaking tomorrow morning at Labour HQ, is also expected to lay out four tests for the government to pass when Sunak gives more details of the government’s economic recovery plan next week.
She is expected to call for Sunak’s summer statement to focus on “creating, supporting and protecting jobs”; that it promotes economic growth across the whole country; that all projects announced are carbon neutral or carbon reducing; and that the chancellor commits to not increase taxes or cut support for low and middle-income people during the recovery.
She will also call for wider financial support and targeted bail outs for industries most affected by the crisis.
Dodds is expected to say: “We need guarantees of delivery, not just warm words. For 10 years, the Conservatives have talked and talked – they have not built.”
The shadow chancellor will also call for an extension of the furlough scheme past October to cater for potential local lockdowns.
Sunak extended the government’s wage subsidy scheme until October, however from September the Treasury will scale back how much it pays to furloughed workers.
Instead of paying 80 per cent of wages per month, up to £2,500, for each furloughed worker, the government will pay 70 per cent a month up to £2,187.50.
In October, this will drop again to 60 per cent of wages up to £1,875 a month.
The governnment has maintained it will not be extending the scheme again.
Dodds is expected to say: “This week we saw a wave of companies announcing enormous job losses – because the government is refusing to shift from its one-size-fits-all approach [to the furlough scheme].
“We need a targeted strategy that acknowledges that workers in struggling sectors cannot and should not be treated the same way as workers in sectors that are already back to full capacity.”
Responding to the planned speech, Conservative party co-chairman Amanda Milling said: “Under Sir Keir Starmer, Labour will say anything to try and score political points and chase headlines.
“We have already provided over £124bn of support to protect jobs and livelihoods across the country, and this week the Prime Minister set out how we’ll invest a further £600bn to ensure we can build back better after coronavirus.”