BBC Breakfast’s Friday instalment was fronted by Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt and during the day’s instalment, the latter was on hand to probe Rishi Sunak over recent revelations regarding the oncoming economic downturn, presented in new figures by the Bank of England yesterday. Stayt went on to ask Mr Sunak whether there was a chance the furlough scheme could be extended in the event of a new lockdown but as the discussion became heated, the pair ended up talking over each other.
Stayt quizzed the guest: “Are there no circumstances in which furlough could not come back?”
“Well, I don’t think it’s helpful to sit here and speculate on – ” but as Sunak tried to answer the question, Charlie continued to speak over him.
The host interjected: “You understand why people have those concerns though? That is their life. If that is the situation,
“I’m sorry Mr Chancellor, you’ll understand it’s not speculation, is it? We’re talking about things that are perfectly possible,” with Mr Sunak struggling to get a word in.
However, the host went onto read out a recent job advertisement to highlight the difficulties of people across the nation trying to find new work.
For example, Stayt noted one such example of a position at bar chain Be At One’s Liverpool branch, which had over 500 applicants for one role.
“That’s what’s happening on the ground,” Stayt remarked, further grilling Mr Sunak on what measures he had “up his sleeve” for when millions are faced with job losses when the furlough scheme ends.
“We know many more people will be out of work. What proposals do you have for when that happens? It’s not if, it’s when,” the host commented.
Mr Sunak responded: “So Charlie, a few weeks ago – at the beginning of July – we outlined a £30 billion plan for jobs, which tackles exactly this question.
“I’ll just pick on a couple of things because you asked about what incentives or things we are doing to create jobs… one is we know young people, in particular, are most at risk in a crisis like this and we want to protect their prospects in the long term.
“So we created something called the Kickstart Scheme – this will launch very shortly – and what this is, is a Government-subsidised job for young people who are at risk of unemployment.”
Outlining the details further, the Chancellor added: “It provides them with a good job, paying at least the national living wage for 25 hours a week, with good training alongside that.
“That will help a generation of young people into the labour market and we also significantly increased the cash incentives for businesses to take on a new apprentice…”
BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One.