Good article on why a bold strategy for redistribution of income/wealth and investment to rebuild the economy was needed from the Chancellor yesterday, instead, millions of people such as insecure workers, the self-employed and those excluded from any support so far were left devastated and wondering whether they would be able to financially survive much longer.
Sadly the Chancellor’s latest support announcement contained nothing for over 3 million people and businesses excluded from support so far and no action to improve universal credit & sick pay to an amount people can actually survive on.
Action to protect jobs subject to the existing furlough scheme was too late and certainly not the grand industrial ‘marshall style’ plan the country needs to create and preserve jobs to guarantee full employment and training.
There also seems to be little detail yet on whether Gov will heed calls to go further in incentivising or imposing conditions on employers to keep staff on part time as part of this scheme rather than just keeping some workers full time and laying off the rest.
The £1000 bonus scheme for employers who keep previously furloughed staff on simply wont work in many cases. For example, according to ‘Personnel Today’ it would cost a firm approx £1,500 per month to employ one full-time worker on an annual salary of £17,000 (including employer national insurance contributions), but more than £2,000 per month to employ two half-time workers on the same full-time equivalent salary.
Also there was very little support for struggling sectors on the brink for example events/leisure/hospitality. VAT cuts for hospitality was nowhere near enough, many companies don’t have enough work to even consider bringing staff back part-time to come under the new wage subsidy scheme.
As Prem states “The government’s 16 page “Winter Economy Plan” provides no glimpse of any vision or strategy for rebuilding the economy. Its eight pages have almost no text and the other eight relate to the above proposals and a regurgitation of commitments already announced.”
We need a comprehensive long term industrial support and training plan.