Rishi Sunak in candid apology to taxpayers for cracks in coronavirus support schemes

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Rishi Sunak has been confronted about the need to reform his emergency economic measures as the need across the country grows. The Chancellor was challenged by the Blue Collar Conservatism group who asked him about various groups across the country that had “fallen through the cracks” of some of his coronavirus policies. Mr Sunak admitted that this had been the case for some, and insisted that he always has everyone “in mind”.

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He said: “I’ve said very candidly in the past and apologised to those people.

“We haven’t been able to help everyone in exactly the way they would have liked.

“Sometimes it’s just practically very difficult to do.

“We need to make sure we also protect the taxpayer.”

Mr Sunak continued: “There are some times where we just can’t put systems in place.

“I have everyone in my mind all the time.

“What I would say is, even if you haven’t been helped in exactly the way you want, there’ll almost certainly something that we’ve done that could benefit you.

“We’ve made enormous improvements to the way our welfare system operates this year temporarily to help those who are most vulnerable.”

The Chancellor added: “For those who are struggling with paying mortgage, paying rent, we’ve made major changes.

“People have had up to six months mortgage holidays that we organised with all our big banks, that’s been a lifeline.

“But more broadly I will always keep innovating and iterating as we go through this crisis.”

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Mr Sunak assured that as the economy evolved, it would be necessary to adjust the nature of the support.

He said it would always need to be targeted at where it could do the “most good”.

The Chancellor laid out the winter economy plan at the end of September.

He unveiled a replacement for the furlough scheme which would still subsidise wages but require workers to do a third of their usual hours.

He also announced ‘pay as you grow’ to help companies repay state-backed business loans.

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