The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has described the 10 pm pubs curfew ‘frustrating’ as well as insisting that he has ‘no regrets’ regarding his Eat Out to Help Out scheme that ran in August. Sunak was pictured yesterday, out with Prime Minister Boris Johnson visiting an energy firm.
UNN’s Oliver Down understands that Mr Sunak was set against the reported ‘circuit break’ lockdown and that this contributed considerably to the dropping of the plan. Prior to today’s keynote speech to the Conservative party conference, Mr Sunak has claimed that his schemes and plans have saved up two million jobs.
Mr Sunak has said ‘I don’t think it’s wrong for people to want to strive for normality and I don’t think it’s wrong for the Government to want that for people’. Sunak has been praised, in some quarters, for his tone talking about the impact of the disease and the emphasis he has placed on a return to ‘normal’.
When pressed on his record he hailed the success of the furlough scheme and said it had propped up two million jobs and that he had no regrets about paying for it. He said ‘We had an industry that I care deeply about because of employment. It’s over two million people’.
Mr Sunak is also set to launch a new jobs scheme which will look to help those left out of work as a result of the pandemic. A £238million Job Entry Targeted Support programme will assist hundreds of thousands of people without work for more than three months to get back into employment. On this Sunak has said: ‘Our unprecedented support has protected millions of livelihoods and businesses since the start of the pandemic, but I’ve always been clear that we can’t save every job. I’ve spoken about the damaging effects of being out of work, but through JETS we will provide fresh opportunities to those that have sadly lost their jobs to ensure that nobody is left without hope’.