Piers Morgan challenged Shadow Business Secretary Lucy Powell to explain who the Labour Party expects to pay the Government back for a potential extension of the furlough scheme. The scheme was introduced in March in a bid to safeguard workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is due to run out in October. Ms Powell defended suggestions the programme should be extended to cover sectors expected to experience long-term consequences but failed to provide details on how her party would pay for the extension.
The Good Morning Britain presenter pointed out the money paid out to help businesses pay wages to their staff would have to be returned to the Government.
Mr Morgan said: “If you’re going to extend the furlough scheme, as Anneliese Dodds explained yesterday, to almost everybody, someone’s going to pay for this.
“Who, ultimately, would Labour like to pay for it? She suggested you hike tax for the rich.
“Would you bring in a so-called wealth tax on people who earn and have more money?”
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Ms Powell insisted neither the Labour Party nor the Government is “talking about taxes”, which prompted Piers Morgan to hit back: “Someone’s got to pay for it.
“Let’s be realistic. You’re not. I know and you know, and the people watching know, that ultimately the Government is in the midst of dishing out money and not getting it back.
“At some stage, we are going to have to collectively start paying.”
Ms Powell responded: “There will be a lot less to pay for if we have a lot fewer people unemployed.
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The Labour frontbencher on Sunday insisted there should be no general tax rises for everyone as she said potential increases should be focused on those “with the broadest shoulders”.
Speaking to Andrew Marr, Ms Dodds said: “My view is if we do need to see an increased tax take, we shouldn’t see it coming from those low and middle-income people, instead we should have a focus on the very best of people.
“We have seen a rise in income and wealth inequality in recent years and I think that those with the broadest shoulders should be bearing more of a contribution if that contribution is needed.
“But we’ve got to be clear, that would only be needed if we are not growing our way out of this crisis.”