Commenting in response to the Chancellor's latest announcement (today, Thursday) of additional financial support for business and workers in lockdown, the leader of the giant Unite the union, Len McCluskey said:

"Today's extension of the job retention scheme until March 2021 is of course welcome but entirely predictable. The government was always going to have to get real because workers simply cannot be forced into further crisis-caused lockdowns without financial support.

"Thousands of UK jobs have been lost in the past 24 hours alone.  Who knows how many of these jobs and the many others that have previously been lost could have been saved, if the prime minister and chancellor had followed the path of France and Germany and announced financial investment and jobs security packages well ahead of further lockdowns.

"As this recession worsens and millions are pushed to the financial cliff-edge, people need more than short-term sticking plasters reluctantly and retrospectively applied over deepening economic wounds.  

"Workers, families and communities are facing ruin yet the absence of longer-term, strategic support for UK employers and households is making desperate matters worse, and is a gift to our competitors who will recover faster and stronger.

"We need a government with a plan to protect health, jobs and incomes, to get us through these frightening times and out the other side, and we need it yesterday."

ENDS