Campaign Response for Covid and Economic Recovery

Thank you for contacting me about support for businesses – in established and emerging sectors – as part of the economic recovery from coronavirus.

These are incredibly difficult times for the country and while it is paramount to protect jobs and the economy, questions are being asked about the way the country does business. I have raised the points you mention with colleagues in the Treasury, including about supporting a green recovery and the ‘Build Back Better’ campaign.

On the 30th June the Prime Minister announced a “New Deal” which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the government’s economic growth strategy. This will take the form of £5bn of capital investment projects, supporting jobs and the economic recovery. This included £1.5bn this year for hospital maintenance, £100m this year for 29 projects in our road network to get Britain moving, over £1bn to fund the first 50 projects of a new, ten-year school rebuilding programme, £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and FE colleges respectively, £142m for digital upgrades and maintenance to around 100 courts this year, £83m for maintenance of prisons and youth offender facilities, and £60m for temporary prison places, and £900m for a range of ‘shovel ready’ local growth projects in England over the course of this year and next, as well as £96m to accelerate investment in town centres and high streets through the Towns Fund.

In his Summer Statement, the Chancellor set out his three point plan for jobs: supporting people to find the jobs that are out there, creating new jobs through investing in our infrastructure and housing, and protecting jobs by revitalising the hard-hit sectors upon which many jobs depend. This includes a new policy to reward and incentivise employers who successfully bring furloughed staff back – a new Jobs Retention Bonus, a new Kickstart Scheme which will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16 to 24-year-old at risk of long-term unemployment, a doubling of Work Coaches in Jobcentres and increases to employment support, and the reduction in VAT which will provide stimulus to the struggling hospitality industry.

As we recover from Covid-19, the Government needs to deliver an economy which is stronger, greener, more sustainable and more resilient. No government could expect to have all the answers itself. I was therefore pleased that, in June, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched five new ‘recovery roundtables’ bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics to help unleash Britain’s growth potential and help the economy recover from the pandemic. The group will focus on: the future of industry; a green recovery; backing new businesses; increasing opportunity; and winning more high value investment in the UK. I strongly welcome the £2 billion Green Homes Grant announced by the Chancellor in his Summer Statement, during which he pledged “a green recovery with concern for our environment at its heart.

Sally-Ann Hart MP