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10 September, 2020 Open access

Motion calling on the government to abandon its ‘one-size-fits-all’ withdrawal of the Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support Schemes defeated in the Commons

House votes instead in favour of amendment that 'acknowledges that any deviation from this Government’s proposed plan will cause damage to the United Kingdom economy'

A motion calling on the government to abandon its 'one-size-fits-all' withdrawal of the Coronavirus Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support Schemes has been defeated in the House of Commons.

Introducing the motion yesterday, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Anneliese Dodds said -

'Our country is in the grip of a jobs crisis - a crisis that will intensify if the Conservative Government do not change course. Between April and June this year, the number of people in work fell by the largest amount in over a decade. By July, there were nearly three quarters of a million fewer employees on the payroll than there were just four months earlier. We know that these are extraordinary times.'

As a result, the Shadow Chancellor put forward the motion -

'That this House calls for the Government to abandon its one-size-fits-all withdrawal of the Coronavirus Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support Schemes, and instead offer targeted income support to businesses and self-employed people in those sectors of the economy that have been hardest hit by the virus and are most in need of continuing assistance, and in those areas of the country which have been placed under local restrictions due to rising rates of infection.'

The motion was however defeated by 329 votes to 249.

Instead the House voted in favour of an amendment put forward by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay -

'I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from 'House' to the end of the Question and add:

'... welcomes the Government’s response to Covid-19 which has already protected the livelihoods of over 12 million people through the eight-month long Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme; acknowledges the support for hundreds of thousands of businesses up and down the country through unprecedented loan schemes, business grants and tax cuts; further welcomes the help to support, create, and protect jobs through measures such as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, a temporary cut to VAT and stamp duty, increased incentives for apprenticeships, and the new Kickstart Scheme, as set out in the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ policy paper published in July; and further acknowledges that any deviation from this Government’s proposed plan will cause damage to the United Kingdom economy.''

The amendment was approved by 320 votes to 9.

For more information, see Protection of Jobs and Business from Hansard.