First thoughts on coronavirus in the UK
To deal with the coronavirus crisis, the Govt. wants more powers and it wants them for a long time. I wonder why because they don’t seem to be making any decisions and they pretty much have the powers they need. They have a page on Gov.UK describing what they think they need, and Big Brother Watch have published their take on it. We should consider their failure to offer security to those in work who may lose their jobs, fall sick or have to stop work to look after children or elderly relatives. This will also highlight the appallingly low levels of statutory sick pay and redundancy payments, not to mention the 2 year employment longevity requirement for redundancy payments. No-one is talking about those living on savings who will be hurt by the reduction in the BoE interest rate to 0.1%, by the collapse in the stock market (the FTSE 250 is down by over 40% in the month), and even their business support programme is based on loans and not grants.
And some second thoughts!
This is moving quickly, the Govt announced a QE programme and the Bank reduced interest rates to 0.1%. The Govt. announced a business loans scheme and VAT deferral. 21 March 2019
Labour demanded that the Govt. pickup the wages of those whose jobs are at risk, those who are sick from work (not of), and amend the social security scheme to take account of the increased numbers and the likely nture of people’s ability to offer themselves for work. The Govt. seems to have agreed to the first two demands but there are massive gaps in the security net because SSP is far too low as is redundancy rights and both require a 2 year longevity in employment. (These should become state payed, funded by employer’s NI.) RLB fisks the Govt response on twitter! 21 March 2019
Paul Mason comments on UBI , he says it’s good and necessary, and macro-economic demand management, suggesting that the capital markets don’t think the Govt’s programmes are enough, he substantiates it on Medium. 21 March 2019
The FT reports that Germany are issuing €350bn bonds.
Buzzfeed explains the dialectic inside the Govt. as it moved from “her immunity” to “social distancing”, with an insight into Johnson’s views on liberty and the liberal state; can’t close the pubs but can arrest people for having a temperature.
I have had these links sent to me, about Govt. Advice and help. 22 March 2019
- Self Employment & Universal Credit https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit
- Employment & Support Allowance https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance
- Covid-19 Small Business Government Grant
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan
- Citizen’s Advice
- Emergency Funding
The featured image is taken from Pixabay and is CC0.