Labour admits reopening plan similar to Tories amid £50billion black hole forecast

Lucy Powell quizzed on how Labour would ‘reopen economy’

Lucy Powell admitted that both parties would be receiving the same advice and data meaning there would be little difference between a Labour and Conservative reopening plan. TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer pointed out that it was the Government who should be making the decisions since they are the accountable arm of decision-making regardless of the scientific advice on coronavirus. It comes as Labour forecast a £50billion black hole as VAT deferrals and business rates holidays end in April. 

Speaking on her talkRADIO show, Ms Hartley-Brewer asked the Shadow Minister: “You talked about the economy reopening in the next few weeks or months, you talk about it being on the horizon.

“If Labour were in power right now, when would we be reopening?

“What’s the criteria, what’s the timetable for reopening our economy and going back to normal life?” 

The Manchester Central MP said: “I mean, I think our criteria and our roadmap wouldn’t be that different from the Government because we would be looking at the same evidence and getting the same guidance as them. 

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“But you’re right, what businesses want the most, in fact, what most people who are on furlough want the most is to get back to work, is to get back trading. 

“So I think what people want is some certainty around that is to know that this will be the last time (lockdown) when they reopen they are able to reopen with good notice. 

“That they’re able to open in a way that’s viable, we can’t have any of this nonsense about pubs reopening without serving alcohol for example. 

“Or the substantial meal criteria and all of these extra last-minute restrictions.”

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Ms Hartley-Brewer then pointed out her issue with the Government and the Labour Party. 

She explained she was unsure what the opposition party offers since they do not offer a strong counter-view to whatever the Government does. 

Ms Powell explained the Labour party is offering a different form of economic support for businesses 

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds has reportedly asked Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce incentives for business to retain staff. 

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Ms Dodds is also calling for an indefinite extension of the furlough scheme and investment into “green” jobs. 

The Labour Party announced today the UK faces a £50billion black hole of support when several government support schemes end. 

They calculate £34billion of support will be removed when VAT deferrals end. 

The party also says many government loans will also need to be paid back. 

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