Diary - Chancellor targets further support to save jobs

What a day! The Chancellor adopted the role of Father Christmas and sprayed billions of pounds into the economy to save jobs. I had managed to get on the question list after his Statement, but was no 80 out of 90, so was not optimistic I'd be called. I watched PMQs on the TV in my office and was not surprised when Kier Starmer challenged the PM on his comments about death in care homes. The PM countered well. The Chancellor came on next and gave a most assured performance. He announced several things including cutting VAT on hospitality, which, he said, was part of a £30 billion plan to prevent mass unemployment as the economy is hit by coronavirus. He added that the government would also pay firms a £1,000 bonus for every staff member kept on for three months when the furlough scheme ends in October. And, from out of the box, came his initiative to give 50 per cent off to people dining out in August. Mr Sunak warned "hardship lies ahead" but vowed no-one would be left "without hope". He went on to tell us that he would cut VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent from next Wednesday. His full Statement is on my website. This was all radical stuff and welcome, but one day we'll have to repay all this and how that's achieved will be the ultimate test. I raised this very point during the three minutes I was given to speak just after 1800. I was the 34th speaker on a list of 70! I believe in low taxes and said so. One or two on the Opposition Benches began to mutter, as they always do, which gave me the opportunity to tell them they'd never understand how an economy works, an economy that provides prosperity and jobs, rather than one that implodes due to punitive taxes. We had dropped to one-line after the Chancellor's Statement, but I stayed on to speak and spent some time in the Chamber. A most interesting day. Early reaction to Mr Sunak's Statement was generally good. He correctly made the point in the Chamber that the Government cannot possible save every single job. We must hope that, with taxes reduced, businesses recover quickly post COVID.