Following the announcement on Friday 20 March by the chancellor Rishi Sunak of measures to direct state money to millions of UK workers in order to fend off economic collapse, the leader of Unite the union has described the measures as 'historic, bold and very much necessary'.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "This is the package of measures that trade unions like Unite have been pressing for as the most effective way to stave off mass hardship and the conditions for a depression.
"We recognise that these are huge decisions for any government, and especially for a Conservative government, but they have listened to the calls for action and have acted appropriately. Rishi Sunak's wage support measures are a historic first for this country, but are bold and very much necessary.
"The key to any wage support programme is that it needs to be simple, straightforward and above all fast. This is the only way to put money into the pockets of the millions who see their livelihoods hanging by a thread.
"This will definitely be some relief amid all the fear in households across the UK this evening. Never before has the country faced a crisis of this nature. People who were only days ago in secure work are now worried sick about putting food on the table in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The chancellor has done the right thing and we look forward to working further with him in the coming days to get this money into the hands of those most in need."