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Covid-19: Welsh Businesses

Volume 678: debated on Wednesday 8 July 2020

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on support for Welsh businesses affected by the covid-19 outbreak. (904308)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on support for Welsh businesses. The hon. Lady will no doubt be aware that we have put forward a £350 billion scheme to support businesses and jobs across the United Kingdom, and much of that will go to Wales.

Will the Minister join me in welcoming the Welsh Government’s economic contract, which means that any business that receives financial support must demonstrate its commitment to growth, fair work, employee health and skills, and reducing its carbon footprint?

I hope the hon. Lady and everyone in this House will join me in congratulating the United Kingdom Government on bringing forward a furlough scheme that has protected 300,000 jobs in Wales and a self-employment scheme that has protected 100,000 jobs. In addition, we have had bounce back loans, the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme and the coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme. Last week, we protected another 800 jobs—

I welcome some of the wartime-socialism policies of this Government, based on Gordon Brown’s rescue packages under the last Labour Government, which were then cruelly undermined by the Tory Government who followed. But there is room for more fiscal measures, including perhaps looking at VAT on events as a way of trying to stimulate that industry. When the Chancellor sits down next to him, will the Minister whisper in his ear and tell him to do that?

I am happy to accept the hon. Gentleman’s support for Conservative party policies, and if he can just restrain himself for another half hour or so, he might well discover that there is yet more good news for businesses and individuals in Wales. Diolch yn fawr.