All 1 Lord Hunt of Wirral contributions to the Finance Act 2020

Read Bill Ministerial Extracts

Fri 17th Jul 2020
Finance Bill
Lords Chamber

2nd reading & Committee negatived & 2nd reading (Hansard) & Committee negatived (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading & 2nd reading (Hansard) & 2nd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee negatived (Hansard) & Committee negatived (Hansard): House of Lords

Finance Bill Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Cabinet Office

Finance Bill

Lord Hunt of Wirral Excerpts
2nd reading & Committee negatived & 3rd reading & 2nd reading (Hansard) & 2nd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee negatived (Hansard) & Committee negatived (Hansard): House of Lords
Friday 17th July 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Finance Act 2020 Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: Consideration of Bill Amendments as at 2 July 2020 - (2 Jul 2020)
Lord Hunt of Wirral Portrait Lord Hunt of Wirral (Con)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I draw attention to my entry in the register. The Budget on 11 March, first conceived in a time of peace, was delivered under heavy bombardment. The Bill was published on 17 March—the day on which theatres closed and the grim truth sank in that full lockdown was imminent. Since then, as a nation and as families, friends and neighbours, we have endured a period when fear ran rife and hope seemed forlorn. Many of the Bill’s provisions are, of course, technical, conceived in what now feels like a different, far-off world. While we discuss the principles of this Bill, far greater principles must be in all our minds.

The coronavirus hits indiscriminately, yet it also affects different individuals and different groups in very different ways. The furlough scheme—more properly the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme—has sustained millions of employees in this time of crisis. The brutal reality is, however, that as the furlough scheme tapers away, many jobs will disappear for good and many sectors may never recover fully. Hospitality and the performing arts are the most obvious but not the only ones. We may hope for the best, but we must also prepare for the worst. As my noble friend Lord Lamont of Lerwick put it at the start of the debate, the difficult part is yet to come.

As several noble Lords have referred to, the Prime Minister has alluded to Roosevelt’s New Deal—a highly effective response to mass unemployment in the 1930s when the free market failed. The nation needs not only tax reforms and short-term palliatives but a comprehensive response to a crisis that is obliterating the education, exams and employment of young people and leaving older people isolated and fearful. I strongly agree with my noble friend Lady Noakes that we need to see the Government being more joined up and working at top speed. We need a response that unites the nation as one nation—a response that is practical but securely founded in a shared sense of social justice. The Bill may be only one step on that urgent journey, but we will need to take many more steps before this year is out.