Coventry MP calls on government to do what it can to save Coventry jobs

The MP called for a “regional response, so that places such as the West Midlands are not left behind” in the coronavirus economic recovery.

Pictured: Taiwo Owatemi MP, speaking during the Finance Bill debate in July.

Taiwo Owatemi, the MP for Coventry North West, delivered a bold speech during the Finance Bill: Review of Impact of Act on Job Creation debate earlier this month in the House of Commons.

The Labour MP expressed her concern at the rate of unemployment in Coventry North West, which saw 4,630 claimants for unemployment benefit in May 2020 – 6.3% of the population aged 16-64 – and 13,100 jobs furloughed up-to May 2020.

She highlighted how many families are rightfully concerned about whether they can maintain their livelihoods and if jobs will be available for them in the midst of this pandemic and beyond.

In her speech, the MP called for a “regional response, so that places such as the West Midlands are not left behind”, adding that she is working alongside Coventry City Council to do what she can to get ahead of the response.

“I will not sit idly by while people in my community lose their jobs and vital skills”, said Ms Owatemi.

“[New] jobs should be part of a new, prosperous economy, and they should be green, well-paid and sustainable,” she told her colleagues in Parliament.

After the speech, Ms Owatemi explained that her office is currently supporting residents who have been furloughed, lost their jobs or seeking unemployment support.

“I am keen to make sure we re-skill as many people as possible in Coventry and I am lobbying the government and local employers to continue supporting people in work and help them back into good quality, well-paid jobs,” she said.

“It’s my job to go down to London, stand up for our area and make sure we get our fair share, so I want to know what the Chancellor can do to help people here in Coventry and ensure businesses have all the help and support they need.”

The speech comes ahead of the Rishi Sunak’s announcement on Wednesday, which is expected to include job pledges, especially for young people, alongside a £3 billion “green” fund and a boost for apprenticeships.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party welcomed the move, but said that the government had failed to “rise to the scale of the unemployment crisis”.

The Chancellor is also expected to announce a temporary stamp duty holiday for the first £500,000 of all property sales, aimed at stimulating the property market.