I was very disappointed by the underwhelming economic plan outlined in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Summer Statement yesterday. The people of Leeds West need a targeted plan that tackles causes, not just effects, and the Government failed to deliver.
The Chancellor championed discounted meals. Yet, he failed to realise that many sectors are in trouble not because people want money off meals, but because customers don’t have the confidence to return yet. The “world-beating” test, trace, and isolate system promised in May still has yet to materialise. Instead, we have a “world-beating” series of errors. The Government must rebuild damaged public confidence with a fully functioning test, trace, and isolate system to help revive consumer trust and demand.
Most importantly, this was a missed opportunity for the Chancellor to abandon his “one-size-fits-all” approach to withdrawing the Job Retention and self-employment schemes. It is all too clear that some sectors will return sooner than others. The Chancellor’s plan will give much money to businesses who are already bringing back employees, but will not offer additional help to sectors who have not yet opened. Instead, these unopened sectors need sustained support.
Rhetoric ≠ action, and it’s high time the Government learn this lesson. The people and businesses of Leeds West need and deserve better.