Kay Burley pointed out the British Government had committed nearly £200 billion to help the economy recover after the coronavirus crisis, with Rishi Sunak investing another £30 billion on Wednesday to contain unemployment. Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds welcomed the policies but insisted the Government could have spent more on revolutionising UK industries in light of the impact of the crisis. But the Sky News host told the Labour Party frontbencher: “We’re at £200 billion already. You can’t keep borrowing forever.
“We are going to have to pay it back eventually.
“The Government has to decide who should benefit more than others and they have made a conscious decision that it’s the young coming through employment who should be focused on. Surely, that’s what Labour wants to happen.”
Ms Dodds said she could understand the focus on youth employment but warned the Chancellor will need to ensure the schemes putting them into work do not push out older employees.
She said: “We do want to see that focus when it comes to sort of active labour market policies, so to help people who become unemployed.
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“We wanted the Government to learn from previous schemes that have worked.
“I’m pleased they have set out this kickstart scheme, of course, they need to make sure those jobs are genuinely new jobs and are now pushing older people out of employment.
“This isn’t just about how much the Chancellor spends, it’s about whether that money is appropriately targeted.”
But previously Ms Dodds insisted Mr Sunak needed to move away from his “one size fits all” approach to the crisis and work on some sector-based solutions.
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Speaking to Sky News, Chancellor Sunak conceded he has focused many of his recovery policies to younger workers but insisted a new apprenticeship scheme will help older workers who are laid off find new opportunities in other sectors.
Mr Sunak said: “I’m concentrating my support on the young because that’s where there are the most acute issues, they are the ones that are the most impacted and the ones whose life chances are the most impacted as well by what’s happening.
“One thing we did yesterday is introducing a new bonus for companies to take on apprentices above the age of 25.
“That’s not something that normally happens, normally incentive payments for employers to take on apprentices are concentrated on youngsters.
“Actually, 44 percent of apprentices today are actually older than 25.”