Nick Ferrari grills Shadow Chancellor for "opposing for sake of opposition"

30 June 2020, 12:38

By Seán Hickey

The Shadow Chancellor was grilled for her views on the UK's recovery plan, where she was cautious to praise the government's strategy.

Boris Johnson announced today a £5 billion plan for building infrastructure in the to help kickstart the economy after the coronavirus pandemic. Anneliese Dodds, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer joined Nick Ferrari as the Labour Party took a stance of caution around the announcement.

Nick listed out the areas of the UK that will benefit from the programme, including High Streets, schools and prisons. He couldn't wrap his head around the standoffish attitude of Labour and accused the Shadow Chancellor of "opposing for the sake of opposition."

Ms Dodds disagreed, stating that "we've been calling for much of this kind of investment for some time. Actually, in many cases, government have already committed to this so it's right that it's going to be put into place.

"What we need to do before we talk about additional new jobs and making sure investment actually delivers those we need to prevent that extra unemployment in the first place." The Shadow Chancellor said.

Boris Johnson announced a plan to boost the UK economy post-coronavirus
Boris Johnson announced a plan to boost the UK economy post-coronavirus. Picture: PA

She argued that so much focus should not be put on this infrastructure plan, but on how the UK can support people who are coming off furlough schemes and possibly facing unemployment.

"We will see extra spikes in unemployment coming through as the furlough scheme and the self employed schemes are reduced at the same time right across the economy unless the government changes course."

Nick listed out the areas that are covered by the infrastructure plan and asked the Shadow Chancellor "which part of that spending do you oppose."

"I'm in support of government sticking to its promises around that investment and actually when you look at many elements, this is not additional investment, it was promised previously, for example when it comes to the criminal justice estates much of it was already announced." Ms Dodds said, suggesting that the plan isn't for entirely new projects.

The Shadow Chancellor also shared concern for such drastic measures being taken without a budget statement. "We think there needs to be an actual budget but it actually looks like we'll just have an economic update from the chancellor." She said.

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Ms Dodds added that "above all we need action to keep people in work and to help people when they've become unemployed back into work and we didn't hear anything from the Prime Minister about that."

Nick argued that the plan will inevitably create jobs, stating that the men and women who will build the infrastructure will be where the jobs come from.

Anneliese Dodds told Nick that "government hasn't applied conditions to its investment spending to make sure it does really drive local employment, that it does drive up-skilling that it does actually drive those opportunities. I've called on them to do that in a constructive spirit" but is waiting for response.