The Chancellor of the Exchequer this afternoon hosted a roundtable with representatives of business groups and the unions. In attendance were: Frances O’Grady (TUC), Carolyn Fairbairn (CBI), Adam Marshall (BCC) and Mike Cherry (FSB).
As outlined in the Chancellor’s statement of 17 March, urgent work is underway to announce further measures to support individuals facing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Today’s meeting follows extensive discussions over the past two days.
The Government has already announced expansions in eligibility for welfare support and a hardship fund to support the most vulnerable, as well as support to businesses to help with cashflow and paying wage bills.
All participants agreed on the need to go further and to do so quickly, and on the need for all social partners and the Government to work together to find a workable and sustainable set of solutions that protect people’s jobs.
The TUC and business groups shared their assessment of the pressures facing workers, businesses and the self-employed, and their views on possible solutions, and the Chancellor outlined the Government’s approach.