Government extends furlough till March.. what does it tell us?

At the present time it’s near impossible to keep track of the govt response to coronavirus, lockdown measures have been mind-bendingly sporadic and erratic, while economic U-turns have see Sunak and the Treasury lurching back and forth, while jettisoning salvageable livelihoods.

The latest move appears to be the 80% furlough scheme (yes, the one they insisted they needed to remove) being continued until March. The underlying thinking here is clearly that all our woes won’t end in December (clearly the case) and we’re probably in the long haul with these measures or weaker versions of them until spring at the earliest; the scientists advising the govt would concur there.

The fog of communication has been a dire failing during this pandemic, they just won’t level with us. If furlough is being extended, it’s absolutely the right move but it tells us the govt expects this to go on for longer. The only way you can get that across to people is to level with them, or they totally loose trust, embrace conspiracy, and ignore the guidance. Consent is and always will be key with national measures or lockdowns.

Furlough should be boosted to 100%, many people can’t survive on 80% of their wages. Why squeeze people’s living standards in a time like this? Same should go for self employment grants. We should see the govt clearly set out a roadmap or at the very least show some honesty and level with the public about what they think will happen, and how long it’ll go for.

That’ll foster more trust in the long run, and they are sabotaging their own political interests by failing to do it, because increasingly up and down the country, person by person, people are ceasing to believe a word they say.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.