Text of comments made by Ed Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on 28 July 2020.
While it’s welcome that retail sales figures are up, we cannot be complacent with many parts of the sector still struggling. These figures reinforce the cause for concern for many non-food retailers including clothing, furniture and shoe shops.
The UK is facing the biggest recession in 300 years and we are seeing a wave of redundancies. High streets are the backbone of communities across the country, and their continued vitality is absolutely essential to local economies and livelihoods.
If the government is serious about protecting the high street, they should back up their words with deeds. Labour is calling on ministers to put in place a new £1.7 billion fightback fund, which will give local communities the flexibility to support their local businesses.