Responding to new ONS unemployment figures, showing the unemployment rate has risen to 5.1%, Liberal Democrats Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:
"Behind each number in today's statistic is a family worrying how they will pay their bills, and hoping that next week the Chancellor will offer a big, bold innovative plan that will help them get their lives, and their family's future, back on course.
“These figures illustrate that COVID has created a generation who are being left behind and whose economic life chances and mental health have been permanently scarred. This generation is our future and the government must provide ongoing support.
"Government's refusal to listen to calls to extend furlough before now has already cost thousands of jobs and pushed shops, hairdressers and companies up and down the country out of business.
“Worst still is their refusal to bring the millions of excluded self-employed and small business owners under the umbrella of Government support.
"Its time the Chancellor recognised that business needs certainty, long term planning and a clear vision of how we are going to repair and rebuild our ailing economy."