View from the Town Hall: We need more support for longer

Mayor John Biggs says businesses need ongoing government support.

Mayor John Biggs says businesses need ongoing government support. - Credit: LBTH

Covid-19 has meant we’ve needed unprecedented government intervention to support our economy and people’s jobs.

The furlough scheme has been a lifeline for businesses and people in the East End. In July over 40,000 jobs in Tower Hamlets were furloughed.

However, the scheme is ending in October, and the government risks setting back whole sectors of our economy when it stops.

It cannot go on forever but while some businesses have reopened others, including many that local residents work in – retail, hospitality, or other customer facing jobs depending on commuters, have not. Without continued help they will have to choose between letting go of staff or paying to keep them.

On top of this, protection for private renters will also end in August. The East End is normally very resilient but we will need more support for longer to get us through this. Otherwise we face high levels of unemployment and broken businesses if government does not change course.

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