Possible Sunak Successor: Anneliese Dodds.
With Sir Keir of Labour, riding high in many opinion polls, his right-hand woman, Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds will be riding on his coattails. Anneliese, may not have the striking presence or good looks of Rishi Sunak (so some women tell me) but never the less, she is Labour's, Shadow Chancellor. If Labour wins the 2024 general election it will be she, who oversees the nation's purse strings.
Ms Dodds has been urging the government along with Sir Keir, to lengthen the furlough scheme. Particularly, in industries that may lose many workers. The current furlough scheme ends at the end of this month. The scheme was paying workers 80% of their wages, which many at the time were glad about.
As the scheme has gone on month by month, the amount which the government pay to workers has lessened. Mr Sunak has resisted calls from Labour and others, to extend the furlough scheme beyond October.
Other European countries, such as Germany, France and Ireland have extended their job retention schemes. With this in mind, that is why Sir Keir and Ms Dodds are asking for the scheme to be extended.
This Wednesday, Labour will lead a debate calling for the job retention scheme or furlough to be extended for specific industries. No doubt, Anneliese will be in a battle with her Tory counterpart, Rishi Sunak over this. Last weeks PM Q's (Prime Minister's Questions) was a stormy affair with Boris and Keir throwing everything but the kitchen sink at one another. At one point, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle had to interject after Boris, dodging Sir Keir's questions, as usual, insulted Sir Keir by calling him an 'IRA' supporter.
Having not seen PMQ's today, it will be interesting to see what goes down between the two party leaders. Will it be a ray of serene sunshine or will 'Colombo' Keir be forensically taking Boris apart. And will Boris, do his usual blustering and display his usual insults to Keir.
Boris and Keir are locked now, in a life and death struggle for the nation's heart and support. In recent polls, Sir Keir has overtaken Boris for the peoples choice to be next Prime Minister. In a recent 'YouGov' poll, Labour was neck and neck with the Conservatives.
Part of Labour's call to debate the job retention scheme will be to introduce targeted income support for businesses and the self-employed. Labour also wants the Tories to give areas of the country forced into lockdown extra income.
Anneliese Dodds has attacked Rishi Sunak's approach to this all as "one size fits all". One size fits all will clearly not work and it seems Mr Sunak's approach on this matter, has been poorly thought out.
Ms Dodds went on that "half a million jobs" could be threatened as furlough is expected to end at the end of September. Such unemployment rates of this will not have been seen since the time of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
According, to the Labour party, 650,000 people were fully furloughed by their employers. Ms Dodds has made it known that despite calls form her, businesses, trade unions, devolved governments, etc, to abandon his 'one size fits all scheme', Mr Sunak has ignored these calls. Mr Sunak has stuck to the script, that by the end of this month, the furlough scheme will be dead and buried.
Conservative MPs, at least some of them, have misgivings about ending the furlough scheme too. They know that in their constituencies unemployment will shoot up as the furlough scheme ends. Employers are being asked to foot the bill for their workers, once the scheme ends. If they cannot or will not, for whatever reason, then many workers will find themselves faced with being on the nightmarish Universal Credit.
What happens in answer to Labour's call to retain the furlough scheme in some sectors, this will determine what happens next.
Rishi Sunak: The mans not for turning on furlough scheme.
Anneliese Dodds currently fielding questions to Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay. Mr Barclay is also taking questions, from other MPS. Anneliese Dodds attacked the non-presence of Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons, today.