Paul Davies MS – the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – has commented on the Winter Plan outlined today (September 24) by the Chancellor of The Exchequer saying: “It was difficult to imagine six months ago that we would still be in the throes of a pandemic as winter approaches, and that after a relaxation of rules that localised lockdowns would be affecting a quarter of the Welsh population.
“Less difficult to foresee was the effect on the economy, and on businesses. These were always going to take a massive and unavoidable hit.
“The furlough and job retention schemes brought in earlier this year by The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and the support for the self-employed have been a lifeline.
“However, these schemes couldn’t go on for ever, and so while I regret that we find ourselves still in this position, I must applaud Mr Sunak for the courageous approach he continues to take.
“As he pointed out, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic. There have been three consecutive months of economic growth, millions of people have moved off the furlough scheme and back to work, and consumer spending is returning.
“But he was candid enough to say that not all jobs and businesses can be saved, and while this will be of little comfort to some, we have to live with coronavirus and its effects for months to come.
“These – and I must use the phrase again – unprecedented times have called for unprecedented responses, and I have every confidence in Rishi Sunak to protect livelihoods and the economy.”