Prime Minister refuses to back calls to support businesses and jobs
Prime Minister refuses to back calls to support businesses and jobs

During the Prime Minister’s Statement announcing new lockdown restrictions across the country, Imran called on Boris Johnson for greater support for jobs and businesses in areas under local restrictions, but was rebuffed by the Prime Minister.

In his question, Imran told the Prime Minister that local restrictions in Bradford were having a disastrous impact on businesses and communities across the District, and warned him that without more comprehensive support and action by the Government, many jobs will be lost and businesses will be forced to close.

Consequently, Imran asked the Prime Minister for a guarantee from the Government that every area will get the support that it needs, and for the discretionary grant scheme previously run by local authorities and funded by the Government to be reopened to target support where it is needed. However, the Prime Minister refused to answer the call, instead dodging the question and repeating what funding the Government had already provided to local authorities.

Imran’s concern for the lack of support for jobs and businesses follows the Government’s introduction of a new tiered grading of lockdown restrictions. Under this system, businesses in Tier 3 areas are asked to close and are financially supported by the Government in doing so to help retain jobs, whilst businesses in Tier 2 areas such as Bradford and West Yorkshire are able to remain open.

However, those businesses in Tier 2 areas are only able to admit individual household groups and not mixed household groups such as friends and wider family, denying many businesses in the hospitality industry in particular a large portion of their trade which will leave them out of pocket and financially unviable. Despite this impact, the Government have refused to set out any further support to help cover their losses.

Speaking on his call on the Prime Minister to support jobs and businesses under threat because of lockdown restrictions in Bradford, Imran said:

“Yesterday I set out very clearly to the Prime Minister that if he does not set out much more comprehensive support for places like Bradford where local restrictions are already hurting our local economy, then many more jobs will be lost and businesses will go to the wall. I am therefore deeply dismayed that he ducked the question and refused to guarantee that every area will get the support it needs.

“Back in March the Government told us that we are all in this together and that the Chancellor will do whatever it takes to support jobs and businesses that have been put at risk by the impact of Coronavirus and the restrictions imposed by the Government, but it is sadly clear that this is no longer the case and the Government clearly believe that those in some areas are more deserving of support than others.”

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