Below is the text of the comments made by Lucy Powell, the Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers, on 9 July 2020.
This is deeply worrying news for staff at John Lewis and Boots and the travel hubs and town centres these stores are in. These announcements underline the dangers facing our high street, as many businesses struggle to survive through the Covid-19 crisis and the necessary public health measures which limit capacity and demand.
The Chancellor’s statement was a missed opportunity to protect jobs with properly targeted support for the businesses and people that need it.
Ministers must acknowledge that different parts of our economy face very different challenges in the months ahead and come forward with a real plan to protect jobs in sectors fully closed or only partially reopened, and develop an urgent programme to boost retailers and save our high streets from becoming ghost towns.