Apologies for the length of this message, it’s one I wanted to send so you can get a flavour of what I’ve been doing lately; We have, as an office, been so busy across the board with increased numbers of emails about housing, healthcare, welfare and immigration and the like but in this post I’m going to focus on the work I am doing regarding protecting jobs.
In addition to being the (very proud) representative for Wythenshawe and Sale East constituency in Parliament I am also the Shadow Minster for Aviation, Maritime and Security. Since being appointed to this role back in April when Keir became leader it’s been somewhat of a baptism of fire with the industry in turmoil and tens of thousands of jobs lost or at risk. With my colleagues on the Shadow Transport team we have been meeting regularly with all stakeholders and with the Minister to see how we can protect this sector and therefore your jobs.
There are an estimated 1.6m UK jobs which depend on the aviation sector and Manchester Airport in our constituency employs almost 30 thousand people directly; we have said there must be conditions applied to these ‘bail outs’ – making the financial support conditional on the protection of jobs, and the businesses must have a tax base in the UK and must not pay out dividends until the company is shown to be financially viable. Additionally they must have strategies in place to tackle climate change. This seems to me to be a sensible approach to saving the jobs, whilst showing a commitment to the sector which helps to futureproof it and protects the environment.
Another sector which has seen enormous challenges is the arts and the live music sector. So many residents work in or enjoy the arts, and it’s not just the person on the stage or assembled cast who are affected by this. Behind the scenes there are ticket sellers, directors, writers, accountants, electricians, musicians, make up and costume designers, sound engineers, lighting technicians, riggers, catering staff, admin staff and the list goes on. That’s why I was keen to write to the minister with my colleague, Kate Green MP, to raise this issue. I also wrote with other North-West MP’s to the Chancellor about a specific bail out for this sector- I am a keen musician, and Manchester has a rich cultural heritage- I want to see the industry protected and to come back (when it is safe) for others to enjoy too.
Yesterday saw the first APPG for the #excludedUK group, This cross party group was attended by over 160 MP’s and staff, It’s sole focus is to address the imbalance within the JRS (job retention scheme). I know this has affected many of you and we have had so many emails from constituents asking for help. Many businesses, sole traders and self employed people who were following the Government’s own guidelines fell through the cracks and received little or no financial support from the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic. New starters, freelancers, people who don’t pay business rates, businesses which don’t have a full year of accounts by the cut-off date – so many of you in such a wide range of industries with such a wide range of individual circumstances contacted me to tell you of the severe financial hardship you were in, I am committed to helping those who have yet to be helped and will keep you updated with the work of the group and the pressure we are applying on the Government.
I am also currently speaking to a wide number of beauty salons and nail bars who have approached me to press the Government to enable them to be allowed to open up. I will update you on any progress I have on this matter as and when it comes. If you are one of the many people who have been affected by these issues then please don’t hesitate to contact my office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The government has been too slow throughout the health crisis – we cannot afford for them to be too slow on the economic crisis. To protect our economy, we need action now on jobs. That’s why the Labour party is calling for a ‘Back to Work Budget’ that focuses on jobs, jobs, jobs: protecting jobs, helping people back into work, and working with the private sector to ensure British people are well-placed for the high-skilled jobs of the future.