Sir Keir Starmer concluded by highlighting the struggles of a self-employed photographer, asking Boris Johnson: “What would the Prime Minister say to Chris and millions like him who are desperately waiting for the Chancellor to address this injustice?”
Mr Johnson replied in the Commons: “What I’d say to Chris and (Sir Keir) and to the whole country is the best way to get his job working again, the best way to get this country back on its feet, is to continue on the path that we are driving the virus down.”
He said science has given the country “two big boxing gloves” via a possible vaccine and testing, adding: “Neither of them is capable of delivering a knock out blow on its own.
“That’s why this country needs to continue to work hard to keep discipline and to observe the measures we’ve put in.”
– Starmer slams furlough ‘failures’
Sir Keir Starmer said “thousands of people were laid off” due to the failure of the Government to make an earlier announcement about the furlough scheme extension, adding: “The trouble is the British people are paying the price for the mistakes of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.
“If they’d handed contracts to companies that could deliver, public money would have been saved. If they’d extended furlough sooner, jobs would have been saved. If they’d brought in a circuit-breaker when the science said so, lives would have been saved.”
The Labour leader said the Prime Minister must also close gaps in support schemes to help self-employed workers, adding: “After seven months and so many warnings, why are the Chancellor and Prime Minister still failing our self-employed?”
Boris Johnson replied: “We have done everything that we possibly can to help.
“As for the self-employed, 2.6 million of them have received support at a cost of £13 billion. Quite right.”
The Prime Minister also highlighted the uprating of Universal Credit.