The comments made by Ed Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, on 23 April 2021.
It’s time Ministers stood up for businesses in this country, even if they don’t have the Prime Minister’s mobile number. The path to recovery will be long and difficult for many businesses, and a big challenge facing these firms is the debt overhang built up to keep themselves afloat in the crisis.
The Government has refused to introduce the kind of flexibility these businesses need, yet Ministers have acted quickly and flexibly to address issues raised by their personal connections. Rather than fast-tracking the concerns of their friends, Ministers should be listening to businesses of all sizes across the country struggling to deal with debt.
Forcing businesses to repay debt while they are still in the red makes no economic sense. The Government must give our businesses the time to get back on their feet by linking repayments to profits, or risk businesses going to the wall and taking their debt with them – threatening many good businesses and inflicting further damage on our high streets.