Gordon Brown calls for action to avoid ‘Covid generation’

Mr Brown said there were 'fundamental flaws' in the jobs support plans announced by Rishi Sunak.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is urging the Government to call a special summit to avoid the threat of a “Covid generation” of unemployed young people.

Mr Brown said there were “fundamental flaws” in the jobs support plans announced last week by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

A UK-wide jobs summit is urgently needed to avoid the threat of at least 500,000 young people being unemployed, he said.

Mr Brown will tell a Communication Workers Union conference on Monday that the Government should “reboot” its plans.

He will say he had argued for a jobs retention plan, adding: “But I now believe – facing a winter of massive job losses, rapidly-mounting unemployment and a wave of businesses bankruptcies – the Chancellor must go back to the drawing board, call a jobs summit to understand the despair in communities and rewrite his winter plan by fixing its fundamental flaws.

“The newly announced job support scheme offers nothing new for the 1.5 million currently unemployed, nothing new for the 900,000 on Universal Credit who will soon be registered as unemployed, and nothing new for the three million excluded from the furlough scheme as self-employed.

“And, shamefully, nothing additional to the inadequate Kickstart scheme for young people, 500,000 of whom will likely end up on the streets or isolated at home, falling through the net in ‘breadline Britain’ with absolutely nothing to do and becoming this century’s lost generation.

“Nor was there anything new for the struggling town centres and high streets to speed up much-needed infrastructure investment or to expedite a job-creating Green New Deal.”

Mr Brown will tell conference delegates that the impending “tsunami” of unemployment and a wave of business bankruptcies had driven him to help form the new UK-wide Alliance For Full Employment.

“We must bring all parts of the country – nations and regions – together to demand action to save and create two million jobs.”

The alliance is calling for a UK summit of national and regional leaders, including metro mayors and business and unions, to examine a new jobs plan

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