Jobs scheme needs improvement

The latest proposals do not help businesses stopped from trading by law. Many of these businesses have a future once they are allowed to trade again. They have no income whilst they are shut. Surely the government should offer them some compensation.

The part time working help needs to be pitched so that it discourages simply making people redundant. If it is much cheaper to sack two people and leave one fully employed than employing three part timers on one third hours then some firms will do that which is bad news for jobs and speed of subsequent recovery.

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101 Comments

  1. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    You make a very good case for firms damaged by brexit, and by the often insurmountable problems that it will present to them also claiming compensation, John.

    Many that were perfectly viable before this act of self-destructive madness will be ruined, more than by covid19, credible estimates predict.

    • NickC
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Don’t be utterly ridiculous, Martin. Simply because a few extreme Remains have convinced themselves that Brexit is “self-destructive madness” doesn’t mean that it actually will be (when we eventually get it). All the rest of the world gets by without being in the EU. Your idea that uniquely the UK cannot be independent of the EU, and live perfectly well, has no evidence to support it – evidence being solid fact, not wild future guesses.

  2. Javelin
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Every decade the Government find a scientific excuse to tax and regulate us more because of things that have never happened.

    This is how the Government science game works.

    1960s – oil reserves will be run out in 10 years

    1970s – ice age will start in 10 years

    1980s – acid rain will destroy farming in 10 years

    1990s – hole in the ozone layer will burn us in 10 years

    2000s – ice caps will melt in 10 years

    2010s – climate will make us extinct in 10 years

    2020s – Covid virus will kill us in 10 years …

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      +1 – they have a huge vested interest in trying to justify ever more government and more power for governments.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        A gigantic parasitic job creation scheme, damaging the economy, destroying our ability to compete and making nearly everyone else poorer.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        +1 and they have overstepped the mark in 2020. Time to cut the State to the bone!

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      +1 I think you’re onto something

    • NickC
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Javelin, Good list.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      There is an excellent website called Extinction Clock which lists all the failed climate fear predictions made over the decades both current and older ones.
      Well worth a read.
      extinction. org

      • Edward2
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Sorry typo

        extinctionclock.org

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        +1

  3. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t go much on the three part-timers doing one person’s full time job. That’s three times the HR overhead, three times the training. When one part-timer finishes work, the next has to pick up what they were working on, perhaps repeating what’s already been done, or missing out something they thought had been done. Customers phoning up to ask progress on their job will have to explain once again what the problem was. One employee suddenly finds they have 3 part-time line managers to report to, each with a different idea about how things should be done.
    How would it work if there were 3 part time MPs for Wokingham? It wouldn’t.

    • rose
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      “How would it work if there were 3 part time MPs for Wokingham? It wouldn’t.”

      When I listen to certain women MPs planning their future rights, I think that can’t be far off.

  4. Adam
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, firms prevented from trading by law have become somewhat illegal.

    Changed conditions may need different business. Firms have to do what is best for them, as do those working. We should protect whatever is worth saving, as well as helping cushion harsh outcomes individuals face.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Possibly, but making some people redundant might actually be the best thing to do as it speeds up the adjustment to the new normal. Encouraging them to move into a differnet job they can always return.

    The bill for all the government help will largely land with the same businesses and people who have been helped in the end. The solution for more jobs are simple. Easy hire and fire, a bonfire of red tape, lower simly taxes, cheap on demand energy and far less government and government waste. But we still seem to have socialist in charge with this Boris government. They cannot even bring themselves to cancel HS2 which made no sense even before Covid.

  6. Everhopeful
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The trouble is that many small businesses have kept going through the madness thinking…believing that they could recoup once sanity returned.
    We all thought it was over.
    Businesses started to recover.
    But no! Total demolition was required.
    Totally unnecessary ( the green agenda is suicide) and way, way beyond cruel.
    The nasty party? Gosh far, far worse.
    Why are the tories literally imprisoning students?
    How would they have like that??

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      *LIKED

  7. Newmania
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    ..and having paused briefly to blame foreigners comin over here taking our NHS resources ….we are back to playing lady bountiful.
    UK public debt now exceeds 100% of GDP for first time since 1963 ; can we please please have some grown ups in the room

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Legard lexicon: grownups – liars
      We have plenty of those, could we have some honest people please?

    • Edward2
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Apart from continually moaning what would you (or any other political parties) actually do?

  8. Peter Wood
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    First, those in power kill the free-enterprise, market based, privately owned businesses,
    THEN those in power, re-deploy the newly impoverished masses to work in state owned and controlled workhouses at barely subsistence rates.

    Is this the conservative plan? It looks like it.

  9. rose
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I agree with your criticism of the scheme’s shortcomings and trust you have a remedy.

    To take one out of the worry of today, I can recommend, from pre Pandemic times, the hilarious trashy novel by Lady Swire, for that is how it reads. Despite the brazen betrayal of husband and friends, the breathtaking breaches of royal, diplomatic, and social etiquette, the only people who emerge in a bad light are Old Ma May, the Goves, and Bercow. Half in, half out of the Bubble, there is the standard misinterpretation of Trump, the ERG, and DUP, but a real understanding of the betrayal of Brexit and country. The account of Old Ma May’s general election fiasco in 2017 had me laughing out loud, and the summary of Boris’s Houdini-like escape from the Traitors’ Parliament and subsequent victory, something which is unappreciated and forgotten by all too many now, is timely.

  10. Iain Gill
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    needs to acknowledge that freelancers are great wealth creators, and that they and other unconventional working patterns are still tax payers and still deserve support from the state.

    needs to acknowledge that the government and civil service simply does not understand this part of the workforce, and needs to try a whole let better to help them.

  11. Bill B.
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    It’s good you’ve thought this through, Sir John. Pity the government hasn’t.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    An area that badly needs new blood is in the area of government advisers, where jobs should be open after the current useless lot are sacked for their awful advice over CV

    Let’s get some innovation into the process rather than just sticking with the old establishment blinkered thinkers.

    Now would be a good time to offer young people a career in the armed forces — Expand the intake and reduce the number of lives lost to a dying economy

  13. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    For many businesses stopped trading by law it’s over, they will never open again even when they are allowed to. And as the government has no policy other than to stay in a form of lockdown for an indefinite amount of time – years maybe – we can’t afford to enter into an open-ended commitment to subsidise them.

  14. beresford
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The dim-witted 10pm curfew is going to cost a lot of jobs and apparently increased the risk of covid transmission as everyone piles onto the streets and public transport at the same time. On Wednesday I asked the bar staff when last orders would be henceforth and was told 9.10pm because the premises had to be totally shut and empty by 10pm. This is more like a child’s bedtime than something that should apply to adults. Restaurants struggling with reduced capacity are now only able to serve one ‘sitting’ per evening and many will just fold.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      In under six months time this country will be impoverished and suffering unemployment previously unseen.

      Not even bread and circuses.

      I doubt this wretched government has a year. They are going to face such a revolt.

      The worst PM and the worst government in British history.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I am sick of hearing ministers and the media referring to the consequences of government actions as consequences of Covid. They are not; they are consequences of deliberate actions taken by government in response to a virus and in ways I have never experienced in my lifetime. The ‘cure’was always going to be worse than the disease and it will be far worse. The damage done already to those with other illnesses, mental health, education, unemployment and the economy is outrageous, not to mention the daily infringements and removal of our personal liberty and freedom. This government is not fit to govern and individuals must be personally held to account for the harm they have done.

    • NickC
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Brian, I have tried again with our Tory MP. He’s still mulling over whether government by technocratic decree should continue. And he absolutely thinks the new lockdown is vital because of . . . well, because of “cases”. When I pointed out to him the low death toll for the last 3 months from covid19, he replied with a link to a poll claiming that the majority supported the lockdown. He cannot get his head around deaths being evidence and opinion polls being mere opinion. Unbelievable.

      • Stred
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Central Tory office has deliberately selected prebiously Remainer compliant dimwits as the new cohort.

  16. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Sort of agree, but surely this is government trying as usual to create a ‘one size fits all’ again, when it never can be. If they hadn’t treated and administered this plague that way, they wouldn’t be trying to address the consequences with the same sledge hammer.

    In business you survive by getting ahead of your rivals and yes at times that means exploiting opportunities. As I have said before the tax system isn’t equal in so may ways hence three people being employed to do the work of one is disproportionately costly, so why would you. The correct question is why should that be and how can it be more balances?

    You are right, when using the Law to shut people down the burden shouldn’t fall on those individuals. Conversely it shouldn’t fall on the taxpayer either.

    The real question is, is this virus being spread around every single area of the Country at the same rate equally. Or are some areas acting responsible while others are not. Does that men as it surely seems everyone gets punished for the action of a few.

    The evidence in the MsM (should we believe it) is that this virus has hold and is increasing in the same hospitals and nursing homes as it did earlier. If that turns out to be correct – one size fits all is just punishment.

    The Government may say they are acting on advice, which by any logical measure is unproven, but they are making political decisions, the political decision to punish a whole population just to be seen in charge. They are not asking the people of the country to pull together they are saying we are the law do as we say even if it is wrong in the majority of situations. Don’t do as we say and we will call in the non-existent Army. Authoritarian, this might as well be North Korea

  17. stop it
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    This is all beyond madness.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      +1

  18. Fred H
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    A smiling sympathetic Rishi delivers a non-event, just like Boris did.
    This Government is waking up to trying to win public confidence back – -however, it will not work.

  19. DOM
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Johnson and his neo-Socialist Chancellor (oh, how power destroys previous firmly held convictions and principles) now implementing their economic strategy after seeking permission from McCluskey (banned from Marxist Labour by Kinnock for being an extremist) and O’Grady, a politician of a most vicious and nasty bent

    That’s it Tory chaps, you keep stepping backwards and at some point you’ll have nowhere left to step to

    A travesty so offensive and so without shame that it is no longer justifiable to describe the corpse that is the Tory party as a party of freedom, libertarianism and the free-market

    Take those smiles off your face Tory chaps cos you’ve just handed the keys to the inner sanctum to people who will take control and expose us all to the horror of true Marxist barbarity

  20. Richard1
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    We can’t do what happened with the first lockdown and try to create an equal and opposite reaction. The new restrictions are too vague and too long lasting. The govt is unfortunately in hock to the most alarmist ‘experts’ on Covid, as illustrated by the pitiful presentation by Messrs Whitty and Valance. The only objective seems to be the futile attempt to suppress a virus which is already established and the costs to the economy and to other healthcare and wellbeing are ignored – or at least no proper cost-benefit analysis has been done.

    There’s an interesting interview with Prof Gupta, an expert in epidemiology on the Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast. She explains the inanity of the lockdown approach and says depressingly that she is denigrated and silenced not only by shrill and ignorant members of the public but also by other scientists. It’s worth a listen.

    If there’s one long term good to come out of all this perhaps it will be a much greater degree of scepticism when we hear single issue ‘experts’ cry the end of the world is nigh and an insistence on much more rigorous public scrutiny of cost-benefit analyses.

    The only other hope is this is all a clever Dom Cummings plan and dramatic lifting of restrictions will happen in a few weeks once it’s clear the hospitalisation and death rates are a fraction of those in the spring.

    • rose
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      If Mr Cummings were as all powerful as people make out, we wouldn’t be having HS2.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        +1

  21. villaking
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    An excellent point and I am glad a politician has also spotted what became immediately apparent to me and my managers yesterday. Our manufacturing business has already cut 20% of the 130 person workforce due to the ridiculous overreaction to Covid by this idiotic government. We now need to cut more as one of our biggest customers, the NHS, is still on holiday (unless you are a Covid patient). The maths is as you state. We have for example two UK sales managers but can only afford one. If we could put both on 50% hours, we would still have to pay 66% of both their salaries. By making one redundant, we get the same number of productive hours (albeit from only one person) but the cost is lower. One will be made redundant next week.
    Coupled with the probable abrupt end to the Brexit transition period in the near future, I can honestly say that this government has done more to damage small, international manufacturing businesses than any other, Tory or Labour, in my lifetime.

  22. acorn
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    JR, have you secretly joined the Labour Party? Lately, you seem to be totally at odds with your own government. Surely, you must have advised Rishi on the mistakes he has just made? This is not the time for Treasury ministers to start thinking about deficit reduction!

    • acorn
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      JR, you are taking longer and longer to publish comments on your site. This is understandable to ranking remainers. I must remind you that as an original ERG 62 Brexiteer, you have a duty to deliver what you promised to your “leave voting” followers that comment on your site.

      • rose
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        If you want a comment published quickly, keep it short.

        It is impertinent and ungrateful to demand a particular speed in moderation. Sir John is providing this blog at his own expense, not yours, and doing all the moderation himself. That makes it special. Funnily enough, it isn’t his only occupation, though people sometimes seem to think it is.

        Reply Recent days have been particularly busy with plenty of government to respond to!

        • Fred H
          Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          reply to reply…..I’m afraid Sir John, that some people want you to become an agony aunt instead of wading in to this increasingly clueless Government.

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    We need to face up to the hard choices ………. “As I’ve said throughout this crisis, I cannot save every business; I cannot save every job. No chancellor could.” Says Sunak.

    Well state sector worker have not had many hard choices as they “work” from home on full pay with their gold plated pensions have they?

    Of course no Chancellor can save every job Sunak. I know you are a politician but why state the blindingly obvious? Chancellors can however introduce policies that generate far more jobs than are lost. This by culling largely parasitic jobs, cancelling white elephants like HS2, reducing the bloated and largely unproductive and parasitic state sector, having simpler lower taxes, easy hire and fire, cutting red tape, simplifying taxes, getting freedom of choice and a level playing field in health care, broadcasting, energy, education ……, cutting all the renewable subsidies, culling the pointless debt creating degrees (circa 75% of them).

    It is not rocket science mate. I know you only read PPE at Oxford but surely you can break free from this and your socialist treasury officials and see the blindingly obvious? Get the largely parasitic & hugely bloated state out of the damn way. Cut the state down to 20% of GDP not nearly 50%. Grow the wealth creating sector what is needed is so obvious.

    • Stred
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Drove past the Dole office in Skunkville on Sea yesterday. There were about 20 vacant computer stations and one fat lady walking around. Probably the cleaning lady.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        ouch – thats a bit too discriminatory!

  24. Everhopeful
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Highwaymen wore masks.

    Not compensation.
    Just leave them and us alone and let them trade and us buy sans masks and bl**dy, s*dding chevrons!
    Today!

    And plz tell Boris to stop with the illegal NLP. It does not go unnoticed and he ain’t qualified to practice.

  25. Hope
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Businesses should not be shut by Govt. We all have to learn to live with it. Plan for that not the okey kokey based on Johnson’s zipper.

  26. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    John none of us would start from here. Just lift the whole fiasco, sack the ‘Nudge Unit for CV19’ they scared the life out of us. This government has been waging a Psychological War against the British people.
    We will never forget that. Government is going to have the be mightily constrained once this scam is revealed to the many. I mean cut to the bone!

    • NickC
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, indeed, Lynn.

      • Stred
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        It

        Halpern’s whackos should be called the Fudge Squad.

  27. BOF
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Jobs scheme needs improvement.

    Then government must remove all restrictions and reverse the Coronavirus Act that has removed liberty and democracy from our country before it is lost permanently. Jobs, and the businesses they depend on, will inevitably be lost due to the burden of the restrictions placed on them.

    I am concerned that we are heading for a winter of discontent.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      We’ve started an Autumn of discontent already.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Without even bread and circuses.

      When the unemployment tsunami hits attitudes to lockdown will harden.

      I stick by what I said yesterday. Jobs that need subsidy (that are not essential) are not ‘viable’.

  28. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Socialist government. Socialist job destoying policies.
    No control over illegal immigration.
    American economy powering ahead.
    Germany and Sweden almost back to normal and Britain told we have 6 months imprisonment with the threat of Marshall Law when only 37 covid deaths but hundreds of extra non covid deaths.

  29. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I am getting more and more concerned. Toby Young and Fraser Nelson in the Spectator both think that the Prime Minister has lost his mojo. His wife and child have left him for Italy, he is obviously a shadow of his former self and the optimism and love of freedom have evaporated.
    Now we face the covid crisis where the deaths and hospitalisations simply do not come anywhere near the inconvenience caused by the new lock down.
    We get more and more worried about this headline: OLD PEOPLE DIE IN OLD PEOPLE’S HOMES. Meanwhile we all know that fit people under 50 have much more chance of being killed by other diseases, on the roads or of flu. Children have virtually no chance at all.
    (PS Masks are a fraud but I wear one to reassure other people.)

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Boris has lost his mind!

      • Stred
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Covid does affect the brain. It’s not only Boris. Other examples are Hancock, Whitty and Charles the Green.

  30. Annette
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The way that businesses, forced to close by law, have been treated is disgraceful. Small independent businesses are not legal experts.
    For example, my hairdresser was forced to close for months. The owner received no help for himself, though managed to get one stylist on furlough. He still had to pay rent, rates & business costs. All from savings. Deferment of bills does not really help for lost income. They ‘thought’ that mobile hairdressers were breaking the law, not realising that it was just the premises & trade within that was closed by law so they didn’t diversify. It demonstrates that the law is not clear to ordinary people.
    They have lost a lot of customers, whether too embarrassed that they used mobile competitors or they preferred a competitor. Further restrictions will be the end for them. They had signed a new 15 yr lease on the premises in January.

    Deferment is simply not good enough. If someone has been prevented, by Govt/Ministerial decree, from legally operating their business then they should not be the ones to pay the price, particularly small independent businesses. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Why is the Govt determined to destroy them?
    Given the sloshing of fiat money from the magic money forest, it should not be beyong the whit of Govt to properly help those small businesses, by stumping up for provable charges whilst being forcibly closed & prevented from trading by law. A threshold could be set to ensure that it is genuine small businesses & not the bigger players who benefit. Many small businesses are on their knees. It won’t take much more for them to close permanently.

  31. agricola
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Airlines have been partially stopped operating and in some cases perhaps completely. The entertainment world has ceased to operate outside TV. The hospitality world are walking badly wounded. With a comprehensive test regime would it be possible for those tested to carry an electronic health practique that would allow them to return to being customers of all the above and ensure their survival. Being ancient, I have to renew my health status medically every year. It should now be possible to check Covid 19 free status every month or as deemed necessary, to enable participation in any of the above activities.

    • agricola
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      PS
      I have just downloaded a health practique for entry to Spain based on honest answers to their questions. Not what I had in mind for the above, but if made subject to testing it would help all those businesses I have highlighted above.

  32. NickC
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    JR, Unless the death toll from covid19 (not “with” covid19) rises significantly above that for influenza and pneumonia, there is no necessity for this further covid19 lockdown. Even though flu is a killer, we do not restrict other health care, nor ruin the economy, to fight it. Consequently businesses need not suffer any more than they have already. And neither should people with other medical conditions.

    Parliament must decide in open unrestricted debate where the balance of medical treatment for covid19 and non-covid19 patients lies, and how much damage the economy (which pays for medical treatment) can sustain. We voted Leave so that we were not ruled by technocratic (including medical) decree. The people are sovereign, and can replace useless Tory MPs like mine.

  33. Sharon
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    “ If it is much cheaper to sack two people and leave one fully employed than employing three part timers on one third hours then some firms will do that which is bad news for jobs and speed of subsequent recovery.“

    As the business chap on the radio said yesterday, the devil is in the detail. His opinion was that we’ve been sold a pup! It would seem you agree.

    This seems to happen far too often, great idea in theory, poor idea in practice.

  34. Last Chance Escapes
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Chinese Human Rights organizations are deeply concerned about the Wests descent into despotism.

  35. sid
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Boris Johnson becomes the first baptised Catholic to made Prime Minister
    July 24, 2019Archbishop Cranmer544 Comments


    you kept that quiet

    • hefner
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Are you joining Lynn in making religion an important criterion to decide who can be PM or Chancellor? (see Lynn’s comment about Lord Lawson of a few days ago). If it is the case shame on both of you.

  36. cynic
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    The Government needs to reconsider its approach to dealing with Covid.
    I can find no good evidence that lockdown measures and mask wearing are effective at combating this disease. I can, however, find lots of evidence that these measures are destroying our prosperity, jobs and way of life.
    Dare we hope that people will begin to look objectively at the way in which Covid is impacting on our country and overcome panic and fear?

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      They are not effective and there’s no science behind them anyway. And, apparently, mask-wearing all day in workplaces is causing people headaches and other problems.

  37. Peter Parsons
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    These are both sensible and reasonable suggestions.

    I know a couple of people who have looked into the new scheme from a small business owner perspective and their response is “the numbers don’t add up” as not only are they required to pay staff for the time the staff are not working, they are also required to pay employer’s NI on the pay for the time the staff are not working, and pay employer’s NI on the government contribution. Their view is that making 2 staff redundant and keeping 1 full time will be a better option for them than keeping on 3 on 1/3 hours. A part time furlough scheme makes sense, but it has to make financial sense (i.e. be essentially cost neutral between keeping staff on part time and making redundancies) to businesses for it to be viable.

    I also agree that there needs to be sector-specific solutions for those businesses which are closed due to government decisions.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Well if their workers are part-time and earning under £9500 there is no Ers NI to pay at all. Although there will be some Employer Nest contribution which your ‘small business owner’ may have forgotten. Perhaps they’d actually be better off losing the full-timer and keeping 3 part-timers especially if the full-timer has less than two years service and the part-timers are longer service and older workers (very expensive redundancy in that case).

      Age discrimination legislation means you can’t ask the over 65’s to retire if they don’t ask to, so a small business could end up with lots of lower productive staff and having to let go of more productive workers.

  38. Stred
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The Scots have found that students have been busy spreading covid between themselves to no harm to themselves and banned them from using pubs. What a surprise! The students in my town are back in even larger numbers with their A* certificates for not taking their exams and the university is pleased to announce that an extra 33% have arrived, with their small 20 year old cars taking every available parking space until Christmas. The first thing that the new arrivals did in the shared house near mine was to have a noisy party until dawn and very little distancing appeared to be going on in the spillout. It would not be surprising if the English A*s are not providing a covid super supply too. This seems to be far more likely than adults in a restaurant observing the hygiene regulations and eating after 10pm. Does the government’s civid committee have any sense?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      But Boris needs someone to blame.
      A group of folk who are “misbehaving” and spreading the lurgi.
      This rubbish has to run and run.
      Until the fairytale vaccine is discovered sleeping ‘neath a green, leafy bower and wakened to save us all!
      And then lo…some in the kingdom will live happy and wealthy ever after.
      And some, well some…will not!
      THE END

  39. Everhopeful
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I see a policeman has been shot dead.
    Is the government satisfied?

  40. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    No
    It’s usually more efficient to employ one full time than three “sharers” for all but the job statistics.
    Back to the real world and away from spin world please.

  41. XYXY
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    It certainly does need improvement.

    HMRC seem to be using the unfettered powers granted to them under section 76 of the coronavirus Act 2020 to exclude certain small businesses from the JRS.

    After the scheme was announced on or around the 23rd March, HMRC defined a rule that an RTI submission had to be made before the arbitrary date of 19/3/20 (i.e. 4 days before the announcement). This might be ok, but… they added that it must have been made in the 2019-20 tax year, therefore in they date range 6/4/19 to 19/3/20.

    The group of companies who have chosen to file annually (which means, essentially, March) will therefore be excluded unless they happen to have got theirs in prior to the 19th. They would have been working to the tax year-end (5/4/2020), not 19/3/2020 so they had no reason to submit by that date.

    An ex-colleague of mine is tearing his hair out. After 4 months of paying claims, HMRC suddenly decided to stop and recoup the money. This was simply because the RTI was submitted on 24th March, although it had been tried on the 19th but failed due to HMRC’s software.

    This despite the fact that his company’s scheme is quite clearly recorded as submitting annually and has been doing so since the 1980s.

    This is draconian mis-use of powers and a total failure of their responsibilities.

    The chap concerned cannot claim benefits as a company director, he is prevented from finding work by the government, so as he said… what is he supposed to live on?

    • XYXY
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      I should add that by paying for 4 months then changing their mind, HMRC have prevented the guy from applying for any of the other schemes that he might have qualified for, since the latest application dates have now passed.

  42. MarkLeigh
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    good points.

    laws made in haste etc…

    and also that other law – the one about unintended consequences – come to mind….

  43. D Note
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    The self employed struggling so can’t afford the accountant bill in March and late putting in tax this year get no help. Can this be solved?

  44. Fred H
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.

    The European Commission plans to appeal against a ruling that Apple does not have to pay 13bn euros (£11.6bn) in back taxes to Ireland.
    The EU’s General Court had ruled in July there was no evidence Apple had broken any rules on tax paid there.
    Ireland never disputed the arrangement but the European Commission, which brought the case, argued it enabled Apple to avoid taxes on EU revenues.
    The EU said paying the correct amount of tax was “a top priority”.

    In 2016, a court ruled that Apple had indeed been given illegal tax breaks by Dublin – but this was overturned in July 2020. Apple has €13bn Irish tax bill overturned.
    The European Commission claimed Ireland had allowed Apple to attribute nearly all its EU earnings to an Irish head office that existed only on paper, thereby avoiding paying tax on EU revenues.

  45. Derek
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Why cannot this Government get into their thick heads that this virus is less deadly than “common” flu?
    By every means, ensure the vulnerable are protected but allow the less and the non-vulnerable to get on with their lives and with their jobs and bring the country back to full economic health again.
    I am absolutely bewildered with this Government, with a staggering 80 seat majority can make such an appalling mess of it and embarrass our Nation across the Rest of the World. Why are we failing when the whole of SE Asia are winning this fight? Why are we not following their successful lead? Arrogance or pride or both?

    • Derek
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
    • na
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Why cannot this Government get into their thick heads that this virus is less deadly than “common” flu?


      shares in vaccines?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Yup.
        Cherchez l’argent!
        While our money, lives and happiness are trashed forever.
        They’ve really done it this time.

    • NickC
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Derek, I agree. The government has succeeded in frightening large numbers of people with bogus statistics (“cases” doubling every week) and propaganda – “Your mild cough could be someone’s else’s death knell”. Parliament must regain oversight; rule by technocratic decree must stop; the government must deal in real evidence and not opinion and propaganda.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        ‘no symptom’ CV19 is the same as ‘unconscious bias’ from BML.
        Pure Marxism.

  46. APL
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Surely the government should offer them some compensation.”

    You’re not talking about tax payers money, because government revenue has been decimated this year.

    So where are you going to get the money to pay compensation? Oh! print it.

    Here we are, no government income, print more money – devaluing the money already in circulation and destroying the value of pensions and other savings in the process.

    This government really is incompetent.

  47. Freeborn John
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Brussels is saying “the tide is turning” and boris Johnson has been worried by LSE scaremongering that trading with the EU on WTO terms will be 3x as costly as the Coronoviris epidemic. If Boris scared that easily and caves like Theresa May then he end up out of office like her.

  48. Iain Gill
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    of course the government could help the jobs situation by stopping printing work visas for skills already massively in oversupply. if ever there was a time to pull the plug on uncapped intra company transfer visas for the outsourcers to bring in workers from cheap countries and subcontract them into other organisations for less than it costs to hire a Brit then now is it.

    • NickC
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Iain, Exactly.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        yes thanks

  49. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Numbers of infectons are up but hospital admissions are largely unchanged. What’s going on?

    • Stred
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      The number of infections during the peak of the epidemic were underestimated by a factor of ten approximately. The number of infections presently are overestimated by a factor of ten because of the greatly increased number of tests and false positives. Boris doesn’t know what’s going on. The chief officers are covering their mistakes and blaming everyone else.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      That might be the key message to take from all of this.
      More testing will find more infections.
      Older and vulnerable people avoid risk activities, so the catching and hospital numbers will be lower than prior.
      As the infection becomes more of a younger person illness the numbers go up, but the hospitalisaion goes down.

      Clearly the activities and risk areas of passing the infection on need to be dealt with, more pointless lockdowns is not the answer. Getting to the root of the problem is key – and we haven’t.
      Pay the pubs and restaurants to close for 2 weeks, fine the non-wearing mask travellers, crackdown on group meetings etc.

  50. Everhopeful
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    “The U.K. will lead by example, keeping the environment on the global agenda and serving as a launch pad for a global, green Industrial Revolution.” Boris Johnson

    So the chancellor is busy separating the wheat ( “viable jobs”) from the chaff ( “I can not save every job“)
    He will not “save” businesses that do not fit in with the “green” agenda.

    Or as Carney said “ But there will also be ones (“ industries, sectors and firms“) that lag behind, AND THEY WILL BE PUNISHED.”

  51. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I never thought I’d be supporting anything you are doing, but I commend you on your support for the Brady amendment to force the government to allow Parliamentary votes on new Covid measures. I haven’t seen much in the media about this, but things are now at a critical stage. I can’t imagine where we are going if the present situation of government by decree continues. It is a great pity that only about 40 of your colleagues are supporting this, plus a handful from Labour. The government is now an out-of-control machine of destruction and the Labour leadership has been pitiful in its response.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Brady must stop laying amendments and lay the law down to the PM – pack your bags!
      Brady was unwilling to do his job with Mrs May too – perhaps he should stand down if he can’t sack people – his lack of action is forcing many to sack others who would otherwise not have done so.

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Going back to Mrs May, I think he had to have a certain number of letters from MPs. As I understand it, he conveys the views of backbenchers but can’t do anything on his own. But something has to be done to reign in this government of destruction before our society is wrecked beyond repair.

      • rose
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Be careful what you wish for: Brady fancied himself in the running last time and would again.

  52. Al
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    So Coronavirus has now killed 41,936.

    Lockdown, in figures published by Sage, has now killed 16,000 (in March and April alone), another 26,000 in the next twelve months, and a further 31,900 over the next five years.

    Yet Sheffield and Loughborough University’s research released in June suggests that the 16,000 is an underestimate and in that period 21,000 died due to lockdown alone. The Corona virus deaths during the same period were 25,000 – during a time when “hit by a car while having Covid” or death from other co-morbidities was being counted as a Covid death.

    Talk about the cure being worse than the disease.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Don’t think the British establishment don’t have a disease! And it’s lethal.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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