NEWPORT East MP Jessica Morden has criticised the government's 'flawed' new Jobs Support Scheme.

The scheme, unveiled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last month, was intended to protect 'viable jobs' in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) have said that the Job Support Scheme 'is unlikely to achieve this objective, and estimate it may only save 230,000 of the two million viable jobs which are at risk of being lost.

Speaking in a debate on the impact of Covid-19 on people and businesses in Wales led by Iswlyn MP Chris Evans, Jessica Morden said: "The IPPR report estimates that only 10 per cent of so-called 'viable' jobs will be saved by the flawed Jobs Support Scheme package.

"The truth is that a grant of a two-thirds salary for workers is simply not sufficient for those on the lowest wages, and will make it harder for many constituents of mine to pay bills and feed their families.


"As recent Government advisor Dame Louise Casey said last week: 'It's like you're saying to people, you can only afford two-thirds of your rent, you can only afford two-thirds of the food that you need to put on the table.

"'There's this sense from Downing Street and from Westminster that people will make do. Well, they weren't coping before Covid.'"

"She’s absolutely right that this level of support simply won’t cut it. The UK Government should reconsider this policy and listen to the Wales TUC, who have rightly stated that the wage replacement should at least be at the current furlough level of 80 per cent."

Ms Morden added "Given that two-thirds of the National Minimum Wage is around £800pm, there's also a strong likelihood that many of the lowest-paid workers in Wales – where the average wage is 15 per cent lower than the UK average - will need to claim Universal Credit under the new Jobs Support Scheme.

"This again illustrates the pressing need to address the in-built flaws in the Universal Credit system - including the five-week wait for a first payment, and the advance loan payment which pushes people into debt."