Labour HUMILIATED: Dodds lockdown support demand shot down in BBC row ‘YOU can’t commit!’

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Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said the Treasury should “stop the last-minute scramble” and combine with opposition leaders, businesses and unions to draw up a long-term strategy. But she squirmed during an interview as the BBC’s Mishal Husain said a Labour Government would not be able to give certainty. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Dodds said: “We need from Government a sketching out of the different scenarios they anticipate.

“Central government has admitted already that many parts of the country may remain under really intense restrictions after this lockdown.

“Labour called for a circuit breaker earlier which could have been more effective.

“We’re in a difficult position now where those additional lockdowns may be required for different local areas after December 2.

“Unfortunately we don’t have any clarity at all around what support would then be provided.”

Presenter Mishal Hussain interjected: “But the fact you’re not able to commit that if you were in Government you would bring this new lockdown end on a specific date shows how difficult all of this is.

“You said ‘sketching out’, that is the world we’re in rather than the certainty you call for in this letter.”

Ms Dodds continued: “With respect what I’m talking about is economic support.

“This is a difficult disease to deal with, I think everyone would acknowledge that.

“It’s been harder in the UK because of that lack of decisiveness. The fact that we didn’t have a circuit breaker when it would have been much more effective over the half term.”

Ms Dodds has written to her Government counterpart after he announced on Saturday that, to coincide with the second national lockdown for England, the furlough scheme would continue in its current form, paying 80 percent of employees’ wages for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

In her letter to Mr Sunak, she said the announcement “just hours before” the initial furlough scheme was due to end was “symptomatic” of what she said appeared to be a “lack of any strategic planning by the Government to support jobs and businesses”.


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Ms Dodds accused the Cabinet minister of taking a “short-sighted approach” that had made “a bad situation worse”.

She said: “The Chancellor’s stubborn refusal to address problems of his own making until the last possible minute is risking lives, costing jobs and causing chaos in the middle of a pandemic.

“Businesses need certainty if we’re to avoid a 1980s-style jobs crisis, not endless chopping and changing by a Chancellor who is always playing catch-up.

“The Chancellor must stop this last-minute scramble and use the moment of a national lockdown to set out a proper, strategic plan for the next six months that gives workers and businesses the certainty they need.”

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