Today Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey called on the Prime Minister to ensure communities do not face the hardship of mass redundancies as a result of the government stopping the furlough scheme.
Ed also told the PM that the Liberal Democrats continue to support the lockdown measures and that a proper system of testing, tracing and isolating must be in place before the lockdown is lifted.
Speaking after his call with the PM, Ed Davey said:
“The Prime Minister emphasised the need for caution before lockdown can be lifted. Liberal Democrats certainly support an approach to lifting the lockdown that's based on the science, the evidence and the health of the nation, so we hope the Government's messaging will now be less confused.
"I pushed the need for an extension to the furlough scheme and much greater flexibility, which seems an issue on which all Opposition Parties are beginning to agree. The Prime Minister seemed sympathetic, especially to the Liberal Democrat notion of a tapered approach.
“The number one economic priority must be avoiding mass redundancies by extending the furlough scheme. Businesses must have the time and space to recover. Jobs and business support schemes cannot be removed at the end of June.
“I also urged the Prime Minister not to be so reliant on technology in the tracing aspect of the urgently needed test, trace and isolation strategy. Not only does the UK still lag behind on testing, but we do not have anywhere near enough people trained to do tracing at a community level.
“The government must make every effort to hold the consensus together on the ending of lockdown, that means working much more closely with the opposition parties and devolved administrations."