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Commenting on today’s budget statement from chancellor Rishi Sunak, TUC North West Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said:

On furlough:

 “Extending furlough is vital to protect jobs and businesses but the chancellor should have announced it earlier and should now promise it will last for as long as needed to secure the recovery, not end abruptly in September when we are yet to be clear about what sort of restrictions we might still be under. This particularly applies to key North West industries like hospitality and aviation. Reducing support just as restrictions end in July will risk jobs. Full furlough support should be available until at least the end of the year.”

On key workers’ pay and public services:

“The chancellor had an opportunity to progress beyond claps for key workers, to a pay rise. He also had the chance to invest in our public services to build our way back after the pandemic. He did neither. Our Key workers and our communities deserve better.”

On the failure to lift Statutory Sick Pay levels:

“The Chancellor could have used the budget to raise statutory sick pay to support those North West workers who need to self-isolate to protect the public. We know that 7 in 10 applications for financial support are turned down, so this was a missed opportunity to raise SSP to the rate of the real living wage and give people the financial security they need if they have to self-isolate.”

On the announcement on a Freeport for Liverpool City Region:

“We are yet to be convinced that Freeports will solve the problems facing our economy as we come out of the pandemic. We will be arguing strongly that any Freeport in Liverpool City region must be established on principles that promote good quality jobs and protect against opportunities for tax evasion.”


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