Appointed to run the Treasury weeks before the country was plunged into lockdown, and the deepest recession in history, the Richmond MP has always pledged to do “whatever it takes” to help the UK through this crisis.
Even Mr Sunak did not expect, however, to have to use last month’s Budget to extend his furlough job retention scheme – and other measures – as the total cost of the UK’s response to the pandemic tops £400bn.
“While our prospects are now stronger, coronavirus has done, and is still doing, profound damage,” conceded the Chancellor who knows that the successful easing of the lockdown is key to the country’s future fortunes.
But there’s still a sense that the Government is still being too slow to respond to the needs of the self-employed, particularly in the cultural sector, and those who, for varying reasons, have found themselves ineligible for myriad support schemes.
And while Mr Sunak did, in fact, take some steps to redress this in his most recent Budget, and take the amount spent supporting self-employed people to £33bn, even this could be too late for some families.
As such, The Yorkshire Post hopes the Chancellor reads today’s reports about the so-called ‘economic excluded’, and the extreme measures they’re now having to take, and ensures, at the very least, that Government payments are made promptly.
The Tories have long prided themselves as the party of small business – and entrepreneurship. Now, more than ever, is the time to reiterate that commitment and stand by those people desperately trying to avoid financial ruin.
After all, they do, in fact, share the same goal – a desire to play a full part in Britain’s recovery.
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