Source: Labour List UK
The Andrew Marr Show
Rachel Reeves, the shadow cabinet member who opposes Michael Gove, revealed Labour’s support for mandatory face masks when shopping and appeared to say that Labour is opposed to post-Brexit European Court of Justice involvement in the UK. She reiterated Labour’s position of opposing the new stamp duty cut for second homeowners and of not wanting to support any taxes rises at the moment.
- Asked whether Labour is in favour of compulsory face masks when shopping: “Yes, I think that would be a sensible way forward.”
- On the government’s Brexit preparations include new border spending: “I think it’s too little too late… We saw an extraordinary letter from cabinet minister Liz Truss to the Chancellor and to Michael Gove this week setting out a whole range of concerns.”
- She added: “I would like to know from Michael Gove how much this is going to cost, the number of additional border officials to implement this customs policy, but also most crucially the cost to British businesses”.
- On whether Labour backs the government in opposing ECJ involvement: “It right to say the ECJ shouldn’t be able to oversee, but there must be compromise on both sides”.
- Asked when Labour would back the government if the EU insists on its own state aid rules: “I think the government have hid behind EU state aid rules on too many occasions as an excuse not to support British industry.”
- On whether Labour opposes any of Rishi Sunak’s announcements this week: “There is one that I would very much oppose, and that is the reduction in stamp duty for the purchases of second home and buy-to-let properties… I don’t think it is right to give those people tax cuts.”
- On whether Labour opposes any tax rises: “We’re in a situation right now where the entire focus of government should be on protecting jobs and creating jobs… This is not the right time to be putting up taxes.”
- Asked if Labour would reject a hypothetical government proposal to raise taxes on £80,000+ earners: “We would look at any proposals that the government have put forward.”
- Pressed further: “We’re not setting out proposals at the moment for the next manifesto… I’m not going to write the manifesto on an ad hoc basis on this programme.”
- On Labour’s boycott of Facebook: “What we’re not doing at the moment is advertising on Facebook. That is in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign, but also in line with what many businesses are doing this month. Which is to express our concerns about the failure of Facebook to take down some hateful material”.
#Marr: Is Labour against tax rises on those earning over £80,000?
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) July 12, 2020
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon apologised for “every death” caused by Covid-19, but added: “What I absolutely refute is that there was some particular problem in Scotland or that we didn’t take great care.”
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin called for “more detail” on the arrangements for the Northern Ireland protocol in order to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. He said the UK-EU talks needed “an injection of momentum”.
Michael Gove discussed the Truss letter. Asked whether she would be sacked over the leak, he said: “No, Liz is one of my best friends in the cabinet.” Gove argued that “there is an element of Captain Hindsight” in Labour’s criticisms of the Brexit preparations.
Ridge on Sunday
Shadow business minister Lucy Powell also confirmed that Labour supports the mandatory use of face masks when shopping. She said Tory ideology is “getting in the way” of the government’s recovery plan.
- On Sunak’s statement: “The summer economic update was a real missed opportunity. Possibly the last opportunity we’ve had to save tens of thousands, if not hundred of thousands, of jobs over the coming months.”
- She added: “We’ve gone from a government saying it will do whatever it takes to Rishi Sunak saying on Wednesday he will do whatever he can… There’s some ideology getting in the way here now why they won’t support key sectors that they said they would.”
- On the furlough scheme, which will end for all sectors in October: “They seem to have some aversion to what they might call picking winners, but instead what they’re doing is instead creating losers.”
- On the new measures: “They really could have focused these large sums of money that they were talking about on Wednesday where they are needed most.”
- Asked if she and Keir Starmer should have worn face coverings when they visited a pub this week: “We followed the guidance… Obviously in bars and restaurants it’s not mandatory to wear face masks so that you can eat and drink.”
- On the disproportionate impact of the crisis: “I’m really worried about the implications of this crisis on women in particular, also those of black and ethnic minority backgrounds.” She pointed out that the jobs of both groups are more likely to be at risk.
- Asked what policies Starmer has announced since becoming leader: “I don’t think now is the time for manifesto commitments – especially not because of the context that we’re in… I think he’s got off to a fantastic start as leader.”
- Asked whether Labour is considering a wealth tax: “We’re a long way off these kind of conversations and that is because we don’t know what the state of the public finances are going to be… We can really shape what is going to be necessary for the future of any tax and spend policy today by protecting and creating jobs today and that is our focus.”
Keir Starmer has been the Labour leader for 100 days – can you name a single new policy announced in that time?
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) July 12, 2020
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady also appeared on the show. She called for a pay rise for key workers, for an effective test and trace system and for more “flexibility and targeted support” for sections of the economy.
- On people returning to work: “Employers need to be carrying out proper risk assessments and publishing them, and consulting with their unions and their workforces about them – the question is, is what’s safe.”
- On public confidence: “The best way to drive up consumer confidence is to know that we’ve got a really effective test and trace system in place, so that when we do get local outbreaks… we deal with it properly.”
- On sick pay: “And that people can afford to take time off sick, instead of having to rely on £96 statutory sick pay. We need to see a boost to that, and make sure that all workers are covered.”
- On rogue employers: “It was the wrong decision to cut the number of inspectors… We’ve [the TUC] got 120,000 trained and accredited union health and safety reps – we’re happy to let those reps be used to support our inspectors.”
- Asked if people should return to using public transport? “It’s very difficult to socially distance on a train or a bus unless you’re controlling numbers and you need marshals to do that – so it needs to be planned.”
- On wages: “We want more people to buy more goods and services to drive up consumer demand… one of the best ways to do that is to drive up wages – which is why we’ve been calling for millions of key workers to get a pay rise.”
- On the government’s job retention scheme bonus for employers: “What we’re worried about is a risk of getting into gimmicks rather than actually giving the targeted support that industries need.”
- On targeted support: “Some of our industries, through no fault of their own, simply through this crisis, are in real trouble… We have to have targeted plans and support to keep them on their feet.”
- She added: “We’re looking for flexibility and targeted support to get us through this period. I tell you, it’s a lot easier to hold on to good jobs that we have already, than to try and create them down the line.”
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove discussed the UK’s economic recovery, saying that he wants to see “more people back at work on the shop floor, in the office, wherever they can be”.
Asked about incorrect and misleading testing figures being released by the government, Gove refused to apologise. He claimed that he is “completely unfamiliar with this story”, but added: “I certainly haven’t misled anyone.”