Govt Economic Statement
How many livelihoods and businesses have been sacrificed up to this point on the alter of Rishi Sunak’s outdated free market ideology? We may never know the true extent of it. The fact remains, the measures announced today should have been in place as a bare bare minimum, weeks ago. Alas, another financial U-turn.
Exasperation aside, these measures are helpful, and will certainly do a much better job of keeping people in their jobs and out of poverty. It doesn’t go nearly far enough but it will at least try to cushion the blow. That being said, we need to see a genuine furlough scheme reinstated, that is even more ambitious in terms of support and reach than before. Of course we won’t get that.
It’s wholly likely these measures today have been put in in case of a national lockdown; so much for lasting the winter on the prior measures. Anneliese Dodds is correct: this is an an admission of failure by the government, and an accepting of Labour’s arguments, dismissed at the prior economic statement. Rishi Sunak’s ideological experiments have consequences, and here it’s peoples jobs and ability to provide for their families.
Employer contributions being brought from 20% down to 5% makes sense; the prior almost acted as an incentive to lay off workers, the state has to bear the great burden of the costs here, the lockdowns are of its own making, if that isn’t the time for the state to help, when is? Minimum hours requirements from 33% to 20% means a single days work can cover it, a good move. Job Support Scheme is all well and good; but furlough needs to come back as we enter a winter of discontent. £3.1bn injection into self employment support is absolutely the right thing to do. Grants for businesses in Tier 2 make perfect sense, the fact they weren’t there before is ludicrous.
These measures, while deeply flawed as per, and far too little too late as per, are welcome. We’re now on a better footing than before in terms of economic support, and that can only be a good thing; even if it is a exasperatingly bittersweet moment of “we all told you so”.