The Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has backed the ‘Alliance for Full Employment’, a campaign launched last week by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling for nationwide economic recovery policies that can prevent rapidly-rising redundancies and unemployment as the furlough scheme winds down.

The campaign calls on the Government to extend economic support including the furlough scheme, ensure that workers aren’t financially punished for self-isolating if they have Covid-19 symptoms, rescue the high street, provide a fully funded youth jobs guarantee, and launch a Green New Deal to boost the economy and protect the environment.

Mayor Biggs has warned about the looming unemployment crisis as the Government’s furlough scheme winds down. As of August 2020, in Tower Hamlets there are 47,600 employees furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme statistics, which represents 29% of all eligible employments.

Mayor Biggs has joined other mayors and leaders across the UK in backing the campaign, including the Welsh First Minister, the Mayors of London, Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bristol and others.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The Government’s furlough scheme has protected many jobs across the country, but with the scheme being wound down for all sectors we face an unemployment crisis. With nearly 50,000 furloughed jobs in Tower Hamlets, the withdrawal of the scheme could be catastrophic.

“I fully support the Alliance for Full Employment and we will work together to make sure the Prime Minister hears the message that creating and sustaining jobs must be a top priority. Mass unemployment will only worsen the huge economic challenges we face and bring yet more hardship to so many families across the UK who are already struggling.”

Cllr Motin Uz-zaman, Cabinet Member for Work & Economic Growth said: “As furlough winds down, the impact on businesses and workers in Tower Hamlets is going to be enormous. Without the support they need, many businesses will struggle to survive and many more jobs will be lost.

“We need the Government to recognise the damage that mass unemployment will do to our economy, and step in urgently to provide support.”

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