Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledged on Monday that ending the pandemic holiday program keeping millions of workers would mean job losses as the government announced new support for workers.
Treasurer Rishi Sunak will announce a $500 million ($680 million) retraining package targeting older furloughed workers and younger Britons, according to the ruling Conservative Party.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration has spent nearly $70 billion paying most wages to permanent domestic workers, helping to keep the official unemployment rate relatively low for lower-paid workers.
He says it is time to move to long-term support, and opposition and opposition party activists object that the changes will plunge many people into more poverty.
“I said at the beginning of this crisis that neither, frankly, any consultant would be able to save everyone’s jobs,” Sunak Sky News said.
“We have lower unemployment rates in the UK than America, Canada, France, Spain, Italy and others, and vacancies are at record levels,” he added.
He said the first phase of his plan had saved 11 million jobs thanks to the furlough programme, and the UK was currently experiencing “the strongest and fastest recovery of any major economy in the world”.
“But the work is not over yet and I want our economy to be ready for the future, and that means giving people the support and skills they need to start working and move forward in life,” he said in a speech at the annual conference. Conservative Conference.
But protesters at a conference in Manchester, northwest England, accused the Conservatives of abandoning the poor.
“Children are hungry. How is this possible in this century? We are here because we have to do something to express our disgust,” retired teacher Lauren Thompson told AFP.
Official data released last week showed that the British economy rebounded stronger than expected in the second quarter.
However, separate indicators point to a slowdown in growth as the country faces a supply chain bottleneck and global inflationary pressures that have pushed up fuel prices.
The government is battling panic buying at gas stations due to a shortage of tanker drivers and has mobilized the military to help.
Companies blame a lack of drivers for the government’s tough approach to Brexit, which has stemmed the flow of workers from eastern Europe, but ministers say the pandemic is to blame.
In an upbeat conference message to Conservative Party followers, Johnson promised to advance his post-Covid recovery plan to “build back better” for areas ranging from infrastructure to climate change.
In an interview on Sunday with the BBC, he refused to return Britain to its “broken” pre-Brexit economy, which, in his view, was too dependent on cheap foreign labour.
“What we can’t do in all of these sectors is just go back to the old, tired, failed model and seize the influence of uncontrolled immigration with low-wage people,” he said. “So yes, there will be an adaptation phase.
Johnson and Snack are also under pressure from the Conservative right to increase the UK’s tax burden, in part to deal with the aged care crisis.
The prime minister said that “there is no stronger and more vehement opposition than me to an unnecessary tax increase, but we have been dealing with a pandemic on a scale that this country has not seen in our lifetime and for a long time.”
“Of course, if I can avoid that, I don’t want to raise taxes again, and so does Rishi Sunak,” Johnson told the BBC.
However, many analysts expect Sunak to do just that after delivering a budget review in late October, as the Treasury struggles to balance the books after massive spending on the pandemic.
“Music specialist. Pop culture trailblazer. Problem solver. Internet advocate.”