OXFORD's Labour MP has criticised the government's coronavirus spending as 'cavalier', as she set out her stall for an economic recovery.

Anneliese Dodds, the MP for Oxford East, set out a 'three-step' recovery plan for the UK in light of the coronavirus pandemic today (September 21), as the Labour party held its annual conference virtually.

Ms Dodds, who was making her maiden conference speech as the shadow chancellor, called on her counterpart in Government, Rishi Sunak, to follow a different approach to helping the UK economy recover from the global pandemic.

In her keynote speech, she called on the chancellor to follow her plan to 'recover jobs, retrain workers and rebuild business'.

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To keep people in work, Ms Dodds said furlough should be extended to cover certain industries in a 'targeted' manner, echoing comments she had previously made about job retention scheme when Mr Sunak made his summer statement in June.

She said: "The furlough scheme can't and should not go on forever, but a system of targeted wage support would protect those jobs that are essential for our recovery."

According to the Office for National Statistics there were 730,000 fewer people on UK payrolls in August than in March.

The shadow chancellor also advocated for a push to 'build capacity in adult education' which could help to retrain newly unemployed workers.

She called on the government to bring forward a £3billion pot of money it had set aside to create a national skills network.

Oxford Mail:

Anneliese Dodds

And to help businesses, she called on Mr Sunak to set up a 'business rebuilding programme' which would help to kickstart Covid-struck companies.

Ms Dodds also warned that loans to businesses were due to be repaid from March next year.

She said: "Repayments are due next March; on the current trend our economy won't be anything like back to normal by then."

As she made the speech to a virtual Labour conference, Ms Dodds criticised the Government's record on Covid spending, including on PPE which proved to be unusable, and its record on contracting out coronavirus track and trace to private companies.

She said: "You're only as cavalier with public money as our current chancellor, if you don't know the value of it."

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She added: "As chancellor, I would ensure that public money was always spent wisely. Targeted where it's needed most. Not splurged where it isn't."

The shadow chancellor's speech was introduced by Oxford Labour City Council Marie Tidball.

The Labour party conference is usually a four-day face-to-face event.

But this year, it has been rebranded as 'Labour Connected' and is being held online with livestreamed speeches by party leaders.

The Conservatives were due to hold their party conference in Birmingham this October, but the event was also cancelled because of the pandemic, and they too are due to host an online event.