The Labour & Co-operative Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and other Hackney Labour Councillors joined with 1,200 other council leaders, mayors and councillors to back the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Alliance for Full Employment campaign.
The campaign is calling for:
- Extending eligibility for and increasing the payment amount for households in quarantine;
- Extended economic support – including furlough – to areas that are required to go into local lockdowns;
- A rescue plan for the high street and tourism, including support for part time work and extended VAT cuts;
- A fully funded ‘youth jobs guarantee’, which covers recent education leavers;
- A green new deal which emphasises domestic manufacturing and engineering and the transition of the North Sea to the ‘Green Sea’;
- Regional growth funds that can support local industrial strategy by investing equity in the industries of the future, ensuring that potential high-growth businesses are not prevented from investing in growth as a result of debt repayments; and
- Changing the constitution of the independent Bank of England to match the new priorities of the US Fed such that it targets low unemployment as well as low inflation.
Mayor Glanville has also endorsed the campaign’s Winter Recovery Plan, highlighting that the Chancellor’s recent Job Support Scheme offers no support for 1.5 million unemployed, nothing for the 3 million excluded from the furlough scheme as self-employed workers, and nothing for the new Kickstart.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown also called for a UK-wide jobs summit of the nations and regions to avoid creating a ‘covid generation’ of at least 500,000 young people without a job and without a future.
Mayor Philip Glanville said: “Hackney Labour is making sure that the Council is doing everything it can to rebuild a fairer local economy. But we need this Tory Government to do more, and we can not let them return to austerity once this pandemic is over.
“It is disgraceful that the Chancellor has labelled millions of workers as ‘viable’. We need the Government to extend furlough to the sectors most in need, support Hackney’s small businesses and self-employed, and give councils the powers and resources to rebuild local economies that work for everyone.
“I am proud to join with colleagues from across the borough and country in making these calls.”
Below is the full text of the letter from the local leaders to the Prime Minister.
Dear Prime Minister,
Ref: The protection of UK jobs and businesses
Our country is facing an unprecedented jobs crisis. The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that, by the end of this year, nearly one in eight of the UK’s workforce will be unemployed. Your government’s plan to end furlough outright is over-simplistic and will only exacerbate the problem – it puts millions of jobs at risk.
That is why we are supporting the Alliance for Full Employment and the Daily Mirror’s ‘Keep Britain Working’ campaign. We need a financial support system that targets industries worst hit by the pandemic; supports any areas under local lockdown restrictions; and ensures incomes for people who are forced to self-isolate, including for those who are self-employed.
Without targeted support for sectors and local lockdown areas that have been badly affected by the pandemic, viable businesses will fail and employment will be lost. This will extinguish any hopes of a quick economic recovery from the deep recession we are facing.
And it is not only the economic impact of your decisions that is of grave concern to us. If you do not provide support for areas under local lockdown and ensure incomes for people who are self isolating, your government will help create the conditions in which the virus will spread. The £95 a week Statutory Sick Pay currently offered to those self isolating is woefully inadequate – if it is not possible for people to work from home, the British public will be left with the impossible choice of not earning or breaking the isolation rules. In short, you are risking the health of workers and their families if you refuse to protect their livelihoods.
As councillors and local representatives, we are extremely concerned about the impact that the blanket withdrawal of furlough will have on our communities and we urge you to reconsider in order to save jobs, and to save lives.
Mayor of Hackney
The full list of signatories can be found here.