*GORDON BROWN TO WARN THAT JOBLESS ‘COVID GENERATION’ OF AT LEAST 500,000 YOUNG PEOPLE ARE BEING CONDEMNED TO A ‘NO WORK, NO HOPE’ FUTURE BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT’S ‘INADEQUATE’ KICKSTART SCHEME
*FIX FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS IN WINTER RECOVERY PLAN, FORMER PM WILL TELL CHANCELLOR RISHI SUNAK: ‘YOU HAVE TO DELIVER NEW ECONOMIC MEASURES TO HELP CREATE AND SUSTAIN TWO MILLION JOBS’
Gordon Brown will urge Chancellor Rushi Sunak to call a UK-wide jobs summit of the nations and regions to fix fundamental flaws in his recovery plan and to avoid creating a ‘Covid Generation’ of at least 500,000 young people without a job and without a future.
On Thursday, Sunak outlined his November 1, post-furlough economic plan. But speaking at a Communication Workers Union conference today (Monday) Gordon Brown will urge him to reboot.
Brown will say: “I argued for and welcomed March’s job retention plan and argued for and wanted to welcome Thursday’s employment support plan.
“But I now believe – facing a winter of massive job losses, rapidly-mounting unemployment and a wave of businesses bankruptcies – the Chancellor must go back to the drawing board, call a jobs summit to understand the despair in communities and rewrite his winter plan by fixing its fundamental flaws.
“The newly-announced current job support scheme offers:
*Nothing new for the 1.5million currently unemployed;
*Nothing new for the 900,000 on Universal Credit who will soon be registered as unemployed;
*Nothing new for the three million excluded from the furlough scheme as self employed;
*And, shamefully, nothing additional to the inadequate Kickstart scheme for young people, 500,000 of whom will likely end up on the streets or isolated at home, falling through the net in breadline Britain with absolutely nothing to do and becoming this century’s lost generation.
“Nor was there anything new for the struggling town centres and high streets to speed up much-needed infrastructure investment or to expedite a job-creating Green New Deal.
“It is becoming clear the majority of the four million furloughed will be unlikely to benefit from the ‘part-time’ wage subsidy –now that the government’s contributions drops from 80 per cent in March to 22 per cent from November and workers have to accept a 22 per cent pay cut.
“Unlike the German, French and Danish part-time worker schemes, it will still be cheaper to hire a full-time worker for the next six months than to hire two part-time workers.
“Millions of workers need far more help if they are to get jobs or stay in jobs.”
Brown will tell conference delegates that the impending tsunami of unemployment and a wave of business bankruptcies had driven him to help form the new UK-wide Alliance for Full Employment.
He will say : “We must bring all parts of the country – nations and regions – together to demand action to save and create two million jobs.”
The Alliance proposes a UK summit of national and regional leaders – including Metro mayors and business and unions to examine a new jobs plan that will focus on:
*Incentivising employers to join the part time work scheme;
*Paying wage subsidy to workers forced to stay at home in local lockdowns;
*Creating 500,000 additional work opportunities for the under-25s;
*Front-loading infrastructure plans and investing in wind, wave, solar and hydrogen power;
*Converting, where necessary, business loans into shares taken by the UK growth fund to keep innovative companies in business.
Brown will say: “If just one or two of us come together we might achieve little but when 1,500 councillors – led by the metro mayors of Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool city region and London come together – with unions and employers and with leaders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all demanding a new recovery plan, just think of the effective, popular pressure we can create and the real change we can achieve.”