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Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds calls for 'critical' business support through the second lockdown

Labour Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds has called for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to "have a plan around economic support" so that businesses have a future after the second lockdown.

"There's enough uncertainty when they don't know if they're going to be closed or open if at least they can know what the support system will look like for the next few months, that would make an enormous difference," she told Piers and Susanna.

The Shadow Chancellor criticised the Prime Minister for not putting a circuit breaker lockdown in sooner.

Ms Dodds said: "We're going to be seeing a longer lockdown now, one which wasn't planned, one which is not taking place at the same time as school holidays. If instead, we had had that planned circuit breaker that Labour called for three weeks ago then yes there would have been an impact but it would have been a lesser impact on jobs and businesses than what we're seeing now."

When asked whether schools should be closed for the lockdown she said: "We really want the schools to stay open because we saw the impact of closing schools earlier in the year, we saw what that did to children's education, to their mental health and to so many other aspects of our society."

"Obviously I was well aware of the impact it had on working parents who had to look after those children while they weren't in school. So we really need to avoid unplanned closures of schools, it's absolutely critical," she said.

Susanna Ried questioned why schools can open when businesses can't, Ms Dodds responded: "That's why having clarity around business support is so critical and actually we've seen over the last few days we've seen enormous confusion around this and it has been incredibly hard for businesses."

"The situation on Friday and Saturday morning for example, businesses in the hospitality industry didn't know whether they were going to be receiving support for their staff at 67% or 80% of their wages, whether they were going to make staff redundant. All of that was completely unclear because of that lack of certainty around economic support. And it is very very difficult for businesses."

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