Boris Johnson has dropped references to further support for weak economic sectors and tax reforms to support smaller airports.
The Prime Minister told MPs the government will act with “maximum creativity” to support jobs if Labor MP Rachael Maskell (York Central) urges reformed and targeted extensions of the vacation program to accommodate thousands of workers help.
Mr Johnson told the Commons, “We need to get people off vacation and into work, and that is what this government is doing.”
Listing programs to keep people at work, he added, “We will continue to use the maximum creativity we have to put our arms around the UK workforce.”
Mr Johnson promised that the government would show “creativity and flexibility” in supporting the economy as the vacation program ends in late October.
“This government has done more than virtually any other government around the world to support people at risk of job loss due to Covid,” the Prime Minister said.
“The coronavirus job retention program, vacation pay makes up 80% of people’s income, compared to 70% in France, 70% in Spain and only 60% in Germany.
“In the future … we will continue to show the great creativity and flexibility that the Chancellor has shown in trying to look after every branch of the economy.”
However, a second national lockdown would likely have “catastrophic” financial consequences for the UK, Johnson said.
He was asked by the Conservative MP and chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport selection committee Julian Knight whether the country could afford another national lockdown.
Mr Johnson replied, “I don’t want a second national lockdown – I think it would be totally wrong for this country and we will do everything in our power to prevent it.”
“And can we afford it? I very much doubt the financial consequences will be anything but catastrophic, but we need to make sure we beat the disease by the means we have set out.
“So when I see people arguing against the rule of six or saying that the government is interfering with individual freedoms too much and so on, then I understand that completely and I sympathize with it, but we have to, have to defeat this disease.”