Manchester mayor Andy Burnham shares proposals to return to ‘normality’ after coronavirus
- Credit: Sky News
The mayor of Manchester has shared his ideas about how the country should be stepping back into normality following the coronavirus pandemic.
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said during Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: 'We need to start thinking about building a better economy, building back better.
'One of the other ideas I would put forward today is that ongoing government support for businesses should be linked to good employment standards and particularly payment of the real living wage.'
'Things aren't going to be the same,' he said, adding: 'We need to be honest with the public about all of that.'
A National Recovery Council made up of voices from the regions, trade unions and business should be established to build consensus around the tough decisions that lie ahead, he said.
You may also want to watch:
He explained: 'If you take a standards-led approach, you're putting health and safety at the heart of this release from lockdown, and that's the way to go in my view.
'It would be overseen by the Health and Safety Executive, but it would allow businesses in all parts of the economy to innovate - perhaps to change the way they work, limit the number of employees that they have in work - but at least it would give them a route back.'
- 1 Boris Johnson warned majority will be 'wiped out' over treatment towards north of England
- 2 Boris Johnson 'frantically repositioning' himself for Donald Trump to lose election
- 3 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 4 James Cleverly mocked after telling people to 'look at how they're doing in Wales'
- 5 Piers Morgan must expose the government's Brexit betrayal
- 6 Minister says Dido Harding is working '19-hours a day' on Test and Trace
- 7 Third Tory MP who rejected extending free school meals is targeted with local protests
- 8 Second shop owner bans Tory MPs who voted against free school meals motion
- 9 Brexiteer Prue Leith quits Tory Party after government votes down motion to protect UK food standards
- 10 Piers Morgan calls Boris Johnson a 'blustering buffoon' in attack on PM's handling of Covid-19 pandemic
He added: 'I worry that if we're going down the sectoral approach, it could have heavy consequences for a city like Manchester, or say Blackpool - a town that really depends on tourism and hospitality.
'So the impact of a sectoral approach could hit certain places hard, so what I'm saying to the Prime Minister is think about a standards-led approach and actually create a National Recovery Council because we all need to have a voice in this debate.
'And these decisions that you are about to take are crucial to the economy of the north west of England and we need to be in the room debating it with you.'
Burnham said the Health and Safety Executive would decide whether businesses can put effective social distancing measures in place to reopen, and if procedures are not being followed 'there could be an investigation and people could be required to close again'.
He added: 'We need to start thinking about building a better economy, building back better.
'So one of the other ideas I would put forward today is that ongoing Government support for businesses should be linked to good employment standards and particularly payment of the real living wage.'
Burnham added that former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has 'some questions to answer' on Whitehall's pandemic planning.
The Labour politician said: 'I think we're going to see, in time, an inquiry into this one to say that things could've... should've been done better.
'And I've been quite supportive of some of the ways the health secretary (Matt Hancock) has handled things, but I think his predecessor, the former health secretary (Jeremy Hunt), has some questions to answer because I don't believe the plans put in place were as robust as they needed to be - but those questions are for another day and it is not for now.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.