Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s long-overdue announcement was set to be a further corporate bailout – but changed as a result of intense lobbying by Labour movement
Rishi Sunak has announced a huge package of support for workers, benefits claimants and renters – but only after a campaign of intense pressure from Labour unions and the Labour Party.
The government will guarantee 80% of wages for workers who are ‘furloughed’ – not at work but not laid off – up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, along with support, along with increases to housing benefit, working tax credit and Universal Credit.
The ‘furlough’ pay will be backdated to 1 March under the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.
However, these measures have had to be wrung from the Tories by a concerted effort by unions, spearheaded by Unite’s Assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett.
The SKWAWKBOX understands that the Tories were originally planning further bail-outs for companies, but have now linked funds directly to the retention of workers as well as diverting cash to struggling low-paid workers, the unemployed and disabled people.
An additional £1 billion will be made available to ensure that housing benefit is a minimum of 30% of market rents in any area, as well as an additional £1,000 per year to Universal Credit claimants.
The SKWAWKBOX congratulates Labour and the union movement on a huge victory for ordinary people.
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