Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Sky News host Kay Burley became embroiled in a heated exchange as the presenter questioned Mr Sunak over his proposed economy rescue strategy. The Chancellor on Wednesday unveiled a £30billion plan to keep unemployment under control and to boost the economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. The pair engaged in particularly fiery debate on the measures unveiled to help skilled workers.
Ms Burley suggested much of the “mini-budget” was targeted towards younger workers but would not help members of at-risk sectors fearing for their jobs.
While the Chancellor conceded many of the measures are aimed at the younger generations, he pointed out the Treasury had also devised a series of apprenticeships for older workers.
Mr Sunak insisted the proposals would help laid-off workers quickly transition into new sectors.
But Ms Burley noted key industries such as aviation need a scheme that would allow them to retain skilled workers rather than policies allowing members of the sector to change profession.
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Mr Burley also questioned the Chancellor over a new £1,000 bonus aimed at incentivising employers to bring back furloughed workers.
The Sky News host said: “The smaller businesses, not the theatres particularly, but the nightclubs, gg venues, that sort of thing – £1,000 is not going to be enough to really help them, is it?”
But Mr Sunak hit back, saying the bonus is a “significant reward” that could help save many jobs.
He said: “All jobs are valuable to me and worth preserving if we can do that.
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“If you look at the income distribution of those who are on furlough, I’m confident that £1,000 can make a significant contribution to the cost of employment over a period of time.
“I think it will provide a significant reward and incentive to employers to bring those furloughed employers back.”