Protection of Jobs and Businesses

I obviously will not answer on behalf of Ministers as to their availability for meetings, but for those who fell outside these extensive schemes, I think they more than anybody need the economy to be moving back towards a state approaching normality, because that is where their sustainable income comes from. The quicker we can do that, the better it is for them.

While it would not be appropriate to have an indefinite extension of the furlough scheme—I do not think furlough is even a medium-term solution—there are some parts of the economy where there are particular needs for support. The measures announced earlier this afternoon by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury for businesses that are told to shut and for individuals who are made to self-isolate are extremely welcome. I do hope that Ministers will look at what measures other than furlough might be appropriate for those businesses when legislative requirements mean that they cannot operate or cannot operate economically —we have heard about theatres and live events—or where ongoing regulations mean that demand has simply being taken away. For some parts of the tourism and travel sector, for example, quarantine measures mean that their customer base is not there at all. Businesses across the economy would not have survived the last six months without the innovative support that has been put in place by the Chancellor. I thoroughly welcome that, but now we need to build the economy for a sustainable future.