Harriett Baldwin seeks confirmation from the Treasury Minister that the Government’s winter jobs plan will provide the right kind of support to help our flexible labour market to adapt to the pandemic.
What comparative assessment he has made of the effectiveness of fiscal support for (a) job retention and (b) incomes during the covid-19 outbreak in the UK and internationally. (907777)
The pandemic has unfolded at different paces in countries around the world, and countries have acted in a way that works best for their respective economies. In this country, the Government have put in place more than £200 billion-worth of support to protect people’s jobs, businesses and incomes, and that is one of the most comprehensive economic responses of its kind anywhere in the world. Our goal remains to continue to protect those livelihoods, those jobs and those businesses while we allow the economy to adapt to the changing circumstances.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the OECD forecast that unemployment in the UK would rise to 9.1% by the end of this year. It recently revised its forecast down to 5.3%. Can the Minister confirm that the winter jobs plan will continue to provide the right kind of support to help our flexible labour market to adapt to the pandemic?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right to highlight the point about the OECD’s forecasts, and also the astonishing flexibility and effectiveness of our labour markets. She will know that the Government continue to adapt their response and, as the Chancellor mentioned a few minutes ago, we will shortly be launching the £2 billion kickstarter scheme alongside the job support scheme. That will be a tremendous boost for the prospects of young people across the country.