Taiwo Owatemi delivered a speech during the Finance Bill: Review of Impact of Act on Job Creation debate on Wednesday 1st July in Parliament.
The Labour MP is concerned by the rate of unemployment in Coventry North West which saw 4,630 claimants for unemployment benefit in May 2020 and 13,100 jobs furloughed up-to May 2020. With the government’s slow response to tackling coronavirus and the country’s economic decline, many families are rightfully concerned about whether they can maintain their livelihoods and if jobs will be available for them in the midst of this pandemic.
Taiwo Owatemi said:“My office is currently supporting residents who have been furloughed, lost their jobs or seeking unemployment support.I am keen to make sure we re-skill as many people as possible in Coventry and I am lobbying the government and local employers to continue supporting people in work and help them back into good quality, well-paid jobs.
Frankly, I am concerned at the government’s response to this economic crisis, like their response to coronavirus, has been painfully slow. Rishi Sunak said he’d do whatever it takes to help people. We deserve no less here in Coventry.It’s my job to go down to London, stand up for our area and make sure we get our fair share, so I want to know what the Chancellor can do to help people here in Coventry and ensure businesses have all the help and support they need.”
Notes to editor:
Key extracts from the speech
Full transcript of Taiwo’s speech in Parliament: https://bit.ly/2YUfr2B
“The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that companies should not use the scheme just to keep employees on their books, only to get rid of them later, but should use it as a scheme to retain jobs. This compounds my view that the furlough scheme masks the true extent of the crisis in our jobs market.”
“Since the start of the crisis, the Government have been too slow to take these threats seriously.”
“This crisis requires a regional response, so that places such as the West Midlands are not left behind.”
“My office has already started this work [of helping people into work]. Working alongside Coventry City Council, we are getting ahead of the response. I will not sit idly by while people in my community lose their jobs and vital skills.”
“But this effort cannot be left up to us. The Government must do everything in their power to create support systems for those who become unemployed as well as new opportunities.”
“We need to see the Government working with employers, unions and local government, with a joint approach across government to maximise job creation and comprehensive support to tackle unemployment.”
“No business or individual should be left behind. Every livelihood deserves the chance to survive this crisis.”
“Those jobs should be part of a new, prosperous economy, and they should be green, well-paid and sustainable. We do not need a race to the bottom, the slashing of safety regulations or the austere measures that we have seen in the past 10 years.”
“The Chancellor said that he would do ‘whatever it takes’ and frankly that is the least that my constituents in Coventry North West deserve.”
“To restore dignity, to save jobs and create new ones and to stimulate this much-needed recovery, bold progressive action is required. Nothing less will do.”
- There were 4,630 claimants of unemployment benefits in Coventry North West in May 2020, which was 6.3% of the population aged 16-64. This was 1,085 higher than April 2020 and 2,450 higher than March 2020, before the UK lockdown began.
- Up to 31st May 2020, 13,100 jobs had been furloughed through the Government’s Job Retention Scheme in Coventry North West – equivalent to around 18% of our population aged 16-64.