This is a big, necessary and welcome move from the Government. Loans to businesses and rate relief were never going to be enough when pay is such a big component of any company’s costs. There had to be support for the incomes of workers whose livelihoods were put at risk by the measures needed to combat this virus.
I and many other MPs called for this when the Chancellor announced the first part of his economic response a few days ago. The package announced this evening by the Chancellor, and prepared with the help of the TUC and employer organisations, will deliver real and welcome help to many workers whose work has dried up as a result of the changes in behaviour we have all been asked to make.
More help is likely to be needed for the self-employed but at a time when the country faces such a grave crisis it is important to acknowledge when the Government has stepped up and done the right thing.