Helping small business and the self employed

I am going to have another go at getting the government to speed up and widen the eligibility for its schemes of help for small businesses and the self employed. I am receiving numerous very worrying emails from people whose incomes have been stopped  who do not  qualify for assistance.

  1. The government needs to include owner Directors of small companies who rely on the income and maybe dividends of their business to pay their living costs.
  2. It needs to raise the earnings ceiling on the self employed scheme
  3. It needs to include people who have set up businesses that is their sole means of financial support more recently
  4. It needs to aim for an early payout, not sometime in June.
  5. It needs to offer downloadable simple forms now that permit people to apply for money on  a self certified basis, with adjustments made later in the year. These should be made through the tax system with the payments made as a kind of negative tax against claims based on  no income

The government also needs to speed up the applications and decisions on the furlough scheme for business. Otherwise more companies will conclude they have to  make people  redundant to  save costs.

The commercial banks need to rethink their demands for detailed business plans and cashflow forecasts, and  for personal guarantees, for what is bridging finance for enterprises that have been forced in to temporary closure so producing no revenue. The interest rates charged should also be realistic compared to the commercial banks’ very low financing costs with official rates around zero.

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  1. ed2
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Sorry old boy but your communist coup has failed (thanks to social media).

    Now shall we all go back to work and forget the entire thing happened?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink


      I do not think the local coup has failed in the UK. Govt has total control, the police fine people for being in the wrong place, there is a competition for patronage, you cannot get close enough to whisper, transport is limited, only Govt defined essential is permitted etc. I do hope it fails. Although I disagree with some of the old economic model, I certainly don’t want the current one that is being put into place. The Govt only shows keenness to continue not to exit its strategy.

      Even though much (most) blame should fall on it, the Chinese Communist Party will continue to seek global influence from this outbreak. China has sent masks, tests etc. to some struggling EU countries like Italy, and even though tests have not worked and some equipment has been poor / of limited use, China has still been seen to act in this way. Some of the blame for this can fall directly at Germany’s doorstep, not only did it limit export of some P.P.E. to non-producing EU members but it seems to have carried out an inordinate number of unnecessary Covid 19 tests on people that could have just self-isolated or been locked-down based on symptoms alone – it was irrelevant whether they had the coronavirus. This has used up reagent and tests that could have been much more strategically targeted to slow spread and protect vulnerable people in other countries. There is an oddity that some media is celebrating rather than evaluating Germany’s actions; it must be sickening to be short of reagents or tests and to know that Germany has carried out tests that were not that necessary. Either way, the Communist Party of China has been able to show willing to step in and help, irrespective of the effectiveness of what it has provided. Once the epidemics have passed, which countries lean more towards China (reliable partner) and which lean more away from China (untrustworthy rogue) could define a new geopolitical picture – one type of communism could still advance.

    • Hope
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      JR, suggest you read two articles in Con Woman today by Peter Loyd and Will Jones. The govt response is disproportionate to the problem.

      Death rates across Europe for this time e of the year down. The death rate still lower than that of bad seasonal flu like 2014 or 2017.

      We read 243 Public Health England employees on six figure salaries who could not organise the preverbiable drink up and in brewery.

      EU aided by Sir Haewei in Whitehall encouraging extension of Brexit, also ably assisted by pro lobby groups like CBI. Time to grasp the nettle and leave now. All preparations were made for the 31/10/2019, use them and go. Business will suffer by any extension, cut them Free from EU rules, laws and bureaucracy.

      Where is the OBR reporting and forecasting on govt economic action of budget folllowing corona virus. Conspicuous by its absence.

      More people should be in work, the statistics do not justify total house arrest and lock down especially as th govt strategy has no testing, no quarantining of people entering hotspots.

      The claims for welfare soaring even those with large savings. The left screaming savings should be wavered. Where is the incentive to return to work if paid to stay at home by furlough or welfare?

      Return business to work is the key if our economy is to survive the self induced economic mess of your Tory govt. It will be far worse than the last act of economic suicide of Major and the ERM fiasco. Do not let Sir Haewei use this as an excuse to remain tin the EU.

      • Hope
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Adam Smith Institute states Public Health England has failed the nation over its centralised testing programme and failure to accept help from private firms, universities etc.

        Do not give PHE an extra £34 billion without reform. It appears lessons never learned from exercise in 2016.

        Stop shovelling taxpayers money as a solution, value for money required. Get a captain of industry to reform the NHS.

        • Nig l
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Yes. The sheer incompetence is wondrous. Did no one think to look at capacity management and the sheer logistics of people travelling maybe 100s of miles to a central testing site.

          Wasn’t there one person in the project group who said, hang on, how is this going to work in practice?

          I suspect Cummings has been incandescent about this and when over I expect a massive shake up.

          As you say entrusting them with even more umpteen billions when they are not fit for purpose, is lunacy.

        • NickC
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          Hope, NHS management is stuck in 1950s socialist mode – “push” management, arbitrary “targets”, excessive bureaucracy, blame culture, fake statistics, and so on.

          One example I know of is junior doctors instructed not to book overtime (even though they were having to work it). Then the supposed compliance with the EU’s working time directive was passed on to Ministers, even though it was falsified.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            Nick even with the working time directive people I.e. junior doctors can choose themselves to opt out.

          • NickC
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            A-tracy, You’ve missed the point – government was (probably still is) being fed false statistics. And junior doctors were more tired because of longer hours. And they were threatened by NHS management.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree. NHS has proved its uselessness with £170 billion a year and the worlds biggest employer. We need the NHS to be the Coronavirus casualty in case there is a real pandemic in the future and millions of us die because they are unreformed!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Half a million dead in just a few weeks are not the easiest of things to ignore, Ed.

      Your post is frankly very silly.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        pot, kettle, black?

      • Hank Rearden
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Time will tell

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          There will not be that number because the Government have abandoned that catastrophic path.

          However their delay in so doing will still be extremely serious.

          • Margaret Howard
            Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

            Even Trump has! He thought his fellow Americans were different to the rest of us.

          • NickC
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            Martin, Let’s be clear here – you’re supporting Boris’s policy of lockdown. I will remember that. However not a single expert is as adamant as you are that lockdown is the only possible solution and herd immunity is a disaster. Even the Imperial College team’s forecasts (ie guesses) are hedged with more caveats than that.

      • Andy
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        You do wonder what planet some of these people are on when they accuse the most right wing government we have ever had of staging a communist coup. Mad.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          You said that Theresa May was the most right wing Prime Minister since the war – a statement that has since come to look more than a little silly

        • NickC
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Andy, More “right wing” than “Fatcha”? I’ll take no lessons in extremism from someone like you who has gloated over the deaths of elderly Brexit voters.

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink


          ed2’s posting is like that of the proverbial pub bore everywhere. He knows better than all the experts or politicians.

          • NickC
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            Like you, Margaret H?

      • NickC
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Half a million deaths in the UK (Ed2 was referring to the UK) from Covid19?

        Your post is frankly very silly.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          I’m just quoting WHO.

          But what do they know?

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

            The FT reported on 20/03 that:
            Taiwan has accused the World Health Organization of failing to communicate an early warning about transmission of the coronavirus between humans, slowing the global response to the pandemic.
            Health officials in Taipei said they alerted the WHO at the end of December about the risk of human-to-human transmission of the new virus but said its concerns were not passed on to other countries.
            Taiwan is excluded from the WHO because of China
            So not to upset China they put politics before health

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink


      They will want to save face, so they will pretend that this lockdown nonsense has saved lives and without it your Great Grandpa Joe would have fallen ill and died in a hospital tent while being attended to by Florence Nightingale. You’re not questioning our courageous doctors and nurses are you? I do hope not, or we may have to send the coppers round to have a quick word. Down the rabbit hole it all goes. Oh, and don’t forget to vote Conservative!

  2. ego watch
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    The self-employed don’t want handouts, we just want you to stop acting like lunatics.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink


    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink


      Simplify, Simplify, Simplify and treat everyone as equals. It is the tinkering of a flawed system that is causing all this countries ills.

      Tax-payer handouts here, there and everywhere. Actually means imbalance so more payouts on top of existing payouts

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I agree but if they must continue acting like lunatics, we want the same level of support the public sector, employers/employees and small and big businesses have been given. None of them have to wait until June.. Public sector workers have been told to stay at home and in many cases not even bother to work yet they are still on FULL PAY. Obviously this Government couldn’t care less about the self employed because none of them belong to unions unlike the public sector and therefore can be thrown to the wolves.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        I thought that the most frightening words in the English language were “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help”?


        Why the change?

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Because the government has caused the lockdown, and the consequent loss of livelihood?

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Jools – what makes you think SMEs have got any better a deal?
        They have not been upfronted the payment for furlough, there is no agreed claim back date and they haven’t only got to upfront their own furlough if their company is closed, they have to furlough all of their employees upfront.

        The Public Sector do have lay-offs possible in their contracts, they should have to take their holidays the same as private sector workers have been asked to do. Any ‘furlough’ needs to be agreed by the workforce prior to implementation and contracts amended.

        The self-employed have got their tax and ni that they have put up that isn’t due until July 2020 use that, your payment from June will arrive before that is due out again.

      • Al
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        ” Obviously this Government couldn’t care less about the self employed because none of them belong to unions unlike the public sector and therefore can be thrown to the wolves.” – JoolsB

        At the current time the closest the self-employed have to a union is IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) once the PCG. They are one of the groups actively lobbying for the support for the self-employed, although the government’s support is currently lacking.

  3. ed2
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Has all this got anything to do with bankers wanting to burst equity bubbles?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      There need to be restrictions on them buying up the assets later on the cheap with this free money.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink


  4. steve
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink


    You say gov’t needs to do this, gov’t needs to do that, and that you will try to get them to do it.

    Respectfully Mr Redwood I think you’ll be flogging a dead horse.

    If it was you who was PM I’d have some faith, but sadly you are not.

    Unfortunately from what I’ve seen of gov’t strategy of late, I’m put off ever voting again.

    Ours is a weak, pathetic country thanks to systemic rot left unchecked by politicians over many decades.

    The only thing guaranteed from politicians is more of the same SLS.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink


    • Hope
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      JRs success of persuading the Tory govt over ten years has not been very successful based on his advice in his blogs, more the pity. He is one of a small group of conservatives who are isolated in his liberal/socialist party.

      If was not an MP he might fit in with the rest of us swivelled eyed looms or turnip taliban as Cameron called us.

      Remember when Mayhab scowled when asked by the media if she considered Rees-Mogg being in the cabinet! Her answer was irrelevant her facial expression said it all. I did not hear Mayhab shout and speak up for Patel against the PPS at th Home Office? Mayhab was in Charge of the Home Office “institutional failure” of Windrush (recent report published) and took over it when Read said the Home Office was not fit for purpose. Clearly she failed in her post for six years and a further 3 as PM!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Oh Much longer than that!

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Banks are between a ‘rock and a hard place’. We must always remember, banks are not social services, they are commercial businesses seeking a profit, at least not lose money. Now you want them to lend into an unknown economic condition, where in all likelihood a borrower will go bust in months. Do you want to see banks up and down the country trying to foreclose, sell secured property and assets? Not only is this bad business it is administratively expensive.
    The high-street banking industry is not the conduit to provide support to SME’s. You need to think again.

    • SM
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      While I accept that of course banks are commercial businesses, it seems to me that – being polite here – many of them over the past few years have been spectacularly bad at making profits and then they go cap in hand to government for bailout (ie we taxpayers take the hit).

      So setting aside any question of perhaps showing some gratitude for help in times past, they might consider that if large swathes of their commercial customers go bust, they will soon be out of business themselves.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink


      Yes the Banks are a commercial business, but this time they are being funded by the Government (Taxpayers) to try and help businesses which have been ordered to close and cease business by the Government.

      I also hear of business owners and the self employed who have approached Banks under the so called government support scheme, only to be informed that they need to maximise their own borrowing facility first, at normal commercial rates, and provide provide personal security (usually the family home) against those loans before they can even access the government scheme.

      Is this really what the new Chancellor proposed ?

      The impression given, was that we are all in this together and Government will support business through this difficult time, (if they did the right thing) which was being forced upon them.

      Sorry John the worst thing possible was the Chancellor getting the banks involved in this scheme at all, as they simply cannot be trusted.

    • jerry
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      @Peter Woods; “We must always remember, banks are not social services, they are commercial businesses seeking a profit, at least not lose money”

      But banks need to remember that 12 years ago most were basket-cases bailed out by the tax payer and their customers…

      “Now you want them to lend into an unknown economic condition, where in all likelihood a borrower will go bust in months. “

      Except the banks are not the underwriters, and thus carry little ultimate risk.

      “The high-street banking industry is not the conduit to provide support to SME’s.”

      Of course they are, you mean High Street banks never lend to SME’s, never act as a conduit for govt payments etc?!

      • Peter Wood
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        I do not defend the high street banks, I put it that they are not the right solution to a cashflow problem, hopefully, with SME’s. Banks are inefficient (not cost effective) at passing cash to borrowers. Most banks do not understand the businesses which their customers operate, even less so in the current climate of recession or possible depression, hence the need for collateral.
        Banks require collateral, which they hope they never have to call upon because realising that collateral will mean a long, slow process that is expensive. Any profit from the loan, even if fully repaid, would be lost in expenses. The government underwriting will be AFTER all other repayment sources have been exhausted. So that would be months, possibly years after final resolution with the borrower. From the lenders point of view, surely its clear, this is not worth the trouble.
        I don’t like the idea of simply handing out money to whomever asks, but there must be a better solution.

        • jerry
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          @Peter woods; “The government underwriting will be AFTER all other repayment sources have been exhausted.”

          That is surely where you are getting confused, if there are no assets should the loan go bad the govt will still be the underwriter of last resort. There is no reason for the banks to be asking for such collateral, and certainly not personal assets (as the HMT confirms today), the point being many self-employed and SMEs do not have such assets other than perhaps a company name and stock.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, not all banks were bailed out by the taxpayer. The rescue deal was made available to all UK incorporated banks but only the RBS and Lloyds were the major users of the bailout.

        Barclays avoided the bailout.

        RBS was the worst affected and that is down to Goodwin and his crew of greedy execs who took onboard a Dutch bad bank just before the crash. All part of their expansion plans, they dragged the Natwest into it. This bank then became owned by the taxpayers with a 62% stake. Osborne sold nearly 8% at a big loss selling for half the price he paid for the shares, don’t know why?

        Lloyds took less time to recover, the government sold the last of their shares for a nominal profit of £900m.

        • jerry
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          @a-tracy; You really do take a rose tinted view of the 2008 banking crash, do you really think Barclays would have survived had other banks been allowed to default?

          The entire industry owe the tax payer a debt, at least in kind, they should do as requested during this crisis to help SMEs and the tax payer generally.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            Yes I do think Barclays would have survived they got bankrolled by the Arabs, if the other banks had gone down the deposits in the main would have been covered by the government guarantee on deposits, as we’ve found out recently too many people don’t even have three months income savings!

            It is only the RBS, unless you know otherwise then please enlighten me, that didn’t repay the loan (or bailout of £50 billion originally provided to the British banks). HSBC standard Charter and Barclays raised their own loans. RBS received £20bn from the Bank Scheme, Lloyds TSB Halifax RBS received £17bn.

            The U.K. under Osborne bailed out Southern Ireland £8bn or more should they be helping us out too now, as well as the Banks (who didn’t receive our money that are being demanded to do) has the interest been put back up to the original levels now we’re in dire straights to Ireland or are we giving them another by your leave.

          • jerry
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

            @a-tracy; Then you are simply wrong, unless you can show how Barclays had not been exposed to the same problematic default-swaps or problem loans etc. either here in the UK or in their international interests as the other banks had been.

            No UK bank was safe nor would have survived had the Northern Rock style “run on banks” escalated, with the contagion spreading to all banks (as it would have done, such is human nature), no bank would have had enough ‘ready cash’ to pay-out even a simply majority of their lenders deposits had the public decided the safest place to keep their money was in the mattress!

            Also remember the government guarantee was to protect the customers deposits & savings, not the bank per se.

            One other thing, you suggest Barclays was safe, if so why the need for them to go cap in hand seeking the funding you describe, and would they have got that funding if the rest of the UK banks had not already been protected by the UK tax payer?

            As I said, yours are rose-tinted…

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the government should throw in companies’ HMRC creditors figure as the 20% outstanding collateral, which would roll up as the months go on?

    • Andy
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      We bailed out the banks they now need to bail out us.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        If I remember correctly we didn’t bail out ALL the banks Andy

      • NickC
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Andy, You mean Labour bailed out the banks, don’t you?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          No, we the taxpayers bailed them out.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            No Labour bailed out some banks.
            Especially that one in Scotland.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            I know that some parties have rich donors, but I don’t think that Labour’s funds would quite have run to that.

            Are you sure, Ed?

          • NickC
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            Martin, Labour chose to bail out the banks – they had the power to do so, and used it – we merely footed the bill.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            Yes Labour spent £500 billion bailing out the Banks.
            Check it out with a simple internet search.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

            I though that it was more, Ed.

            Would you rather that everyone had lost their savings?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

            I think some banks should have been allowed to go into administration.
            But Briennwss determined the RBS shouldn’t be allowed to fail.

    • IanT
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      I agree even 20% of the bad debt risk would cripple our Banks but they do have the information and staff required to help administer this matter – but Government should come up with a system they can administer on Governments behalf without the huge risks involved.

      I doubt HMRC etc have the systems or staff to manage the volumes required.

    • Nig l
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Spot on and Sir JR is expecting shareholders, many of whom are pensioners relying on their dividend to forgo it to give to small businesses etc.

      Since when is it right for pensioners to subsidise business. Where is their furlough scheme. This is state theft.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink


    • Stred
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      News just flashed on the smart that banks are going to offer interest free overdrafts up to £500. That’s going to be helpful to tide them through to June isn’t it. My local bakery and coffee shop owners are looking very upset. They can’t even take cash and have to pay the bank credit card fees.

      • Stred
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        They’ve already paid tax in advance for this year. How long does it take to refund the amount for not earning the money?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the British Business Bank PLC should be. It’s state-owned. When this is all finished, or maybe before it is, perhaps every SME in the country should have a dormant account at the bank established for them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      The Government seem to think Landlords should be forced to be part of social services too. Encouraging people not to pay rents, even if they can easily afford to do so. Then even taxing landlords on profits they have not even made – hardly sustainable.

    • Hope
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I agree. A lot of these businesses, especially catering, would go bust in any event why would a bank extend the failure and increase its liabilities? This would be an act of stupidity on the Fred Goodwin scale.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      correct – SMEs will not approach a bank, they close their business first

    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Those displaying ingenuity, self-reliance and ambition are discarded and ignored because they can be ignored. There are no damaging political consequences to destroying their incomes and by implication their lives to pander to the political demands from the organised socialist mafia led by the BBC, Marxist Labour and their unions.

    The voices of the self-employed will never be heard. They have no political representation or political leverage in any meaningful sense. And Johnson’s treatment of them indicates this only too clearly.

    The apartheid that now clearly exists in the UK between the feather-bedded public sector and the entire private sector is without question the most damning indictment of how the Tory party when in government has sneakingly given ground to the socialist sub-State built and now loyal to Labour

    If Johnson can sacrifice decent people to pander to the NHS vested interest and by extension protect him and his party from criticism then he can, once this is all over, impose reform on what is now becoming an out of control State sector that revels in expanding and protecting its privileges at our expense

    He needs to understand who pays the UK’s bills and it isn’t the the BBC, the NHS, the unions and Labour. It is those self-employed, SME and businesses that finance the privileges to which many public sector employees have become accustomed

    As an aside. The BBC should be privatised. I’ve read its submission. It is underhand and the actions of a parasitic political animal in the same manner as Labour. Always looking to feed off others. No tax on the internet to finance their activities.

  7. Mark B
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Yet again, thank you Sir John.

    I think the Government and the banks need to be reminded that it was SME’s, the self employed and the tax payer that bailed them out in 2008. It is our turn now. We will not forget this.

    • NickC
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, That is exactly right.

  8. Stephen Priest
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    I think there should be at least an interim payment to the self employed.

    At least Sir John sticks to what he knows and doesn’t pretend to be a coronavirus expert.

    I have decided to self isolate my from the media. It is full journalists turned world authorities on coronavirus.

    I am willing read something written by a doctor, which is usually rational and informative, but that’s it.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    At the moment I get the impression that government thinking is dominated by the NHS. Everything else is secondary, including the operation of the market economy on which the rest of us depend. The government will never be able to cover every nook and cranny and the many real issues you describe to compensate for the restrictions placed on it. Who, in government, is thinking outside the box marked NHS? At some point we will need to emerge/break out of the current lockdown. When and how needs careful thought now and decisive action much sooner than in six months time. There are some parts of the economy which are still busy but this seems to be a flywheel effect that will run down in a matter of a few weeks. The NHS had better get its act together fast.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      The NHS is also dependent on the smooth operation of the market economy.

  10. agricola
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    You have got it right with emphasis on taking it out of the control of commercial banks who will on past record grab any loans back at the first sign of any problem in the banks. These payments should be grants handled by HMRC. The last thing people of past enterprise need at present are further financial burdens. By handing control of entrepreneurship to our banks you will ensure that there is nothing left to revitalise the economy when the crisis is over.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      HMRC could indeed offer de facto loans to be clawed back against future HMRC debts. That would be far preferable.

      The GRG scandal show what can happen when banks become involved with small businesses in times of crisis.

      As a small business owner I wouldn’t touch this scheme – I’d rather close the doors.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        alongside future HMRC debts…

    • NickC
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Agricola, I too think the banks are less than helpful to entrepreneurs. I did not go to the banks to finance my (very) small business at all.

  11. bill brown
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink


    This is a highly critical time for these initiatives and your support and effort should be supported as much as possible in particular for the self-employed

  12. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    HDC have found the time to post out to me my council tax and my business rates for the year 2020/2021.

    When will they transfer my government grant into my business bank account?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      I have the Grant form through today, ahead of Business rates!

  13. Roger Phillips
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    There is also zero cover for anyone that changed employer on PAYE in February as the scheme states you must have been on the pay roll from 28th Feb. Please rectify this gap as well.

  14. Advice please
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Is everyone bought and paid for? What about the army? Are they loyal to the bankers or the people?

    • Martyn G
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      All members of HM Armed Forces on induction swear on oath to be loyal to HM the Queen, her heirs and successors and to the officers appointed over them. By default it can be said that they are loyal also to the public. As demonstrated by their current activities.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Your question is as silly as it is offensive.

  15. undecided
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Agree with all your points John, but the forlough scheme needs a swift and radical rethink

    With supply and distribution chains all massively disrupted, some permanently and others less so, businesses need to hunker down, manage their cash and preserve what they can of their assets – including their people – to have a chance to come through this to the other side, whenever that may be.

    Some can WFH to an extent, but in most cases will be at somewhere between 20 – 60% of normal productivity, others need access to premises and facilities where productivity is reduced due to social distancing and safety measures, and/or reduced demand. Further exacerbated by widespread adoption of Team A and B, meaning more staff need to work 50% of the time.

    So the employer can elect to either put each of those staff members onto Furlough – where they are completely prohibited from any form of work for their employer, while the taxpayer funds 80% of the wagebill, or retain them working at 20-60% yet paying them 100% while revenue dives…. Neither works in practice for either Employer or Employee

    Employees need to be valued, not forloughed, we want to keep all of ours involved in this difficult time, all can contribute something, and pschologically they are better off doing something than nothing

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      I agree with you undecided, it doesn’t work to protect the taxpayer. How do you select who to furlough for three weeks minimum and what if you need them back before the three weeks end do you then lose the two weeks furlough you’ve already paid them, how is this fair to the other 80% of the workforce working full time for just 20% more pay.

  16. Al
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you, that would be a massive step forward. One of the small business owners on our forum set their firm up shortly before the coronavirus occured, and is looking at losing the entire set-up costs from their business as well as the business itself. The bank won’t support them, as they don’t have a track record and they – like every other SME I have heard from – has been refused when asking about the government funding and asked instead to take out a bank loan.

    As HMRC already has tax details and bank details for every business in the country, would it not be simpler to both provide and administer the government support directly through them? Since the banks cannot be trusted to pass on the funds and appear to be sequestering them, this is a situation where the government does need to change its approach if it wants to intervene.

  17. APL
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    JR: “I am receiving numerous very worrying emails from people whose incomes have been stopped who do not qualify for assistance.”

    You would have thought a educated Tory might have considered the benefits of the free market over the command economy.

    So it’s all the more perplexing that one of the first things this supposedly educated Tory does is implement the command economy in the country, then when it doesn’t work as well as the free market, for it doesn’t. Start to implement more regulations to compensate for the failures of the command economy, instead of just repealing the whole thing and admitting a terrible mistake.

    Reply I am trying to mitigate the obvious big problems created by massive state intervention which the government says it needs to do to combat the disease.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      You have missed the point APL. The govt intervention in the economy is an attempt at an equal and opposite reaction to the economic effect of the restrictions which have been imposed due to the virus. 2 sides of the same undesirable coin. Of course a free market oriented govt would not be doing this in the absence of the current emergency.

  18. Witch Finder General
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I do not know what is going to happen about the cash I personally have. It is not acceptable to buy anything. I was foolish enough to get a a bit out of a cash machine in the fear the machines would soon run out of cash with no-one healthy enough to refill them.

    How should I cleanse them? Can they be cleansed as no-one can kill the Virus? Should I bury them in my garden in lead casing if I can barter something to buy the lead?

    Something has happened in the Government Mind. Something…untoward.
    In days of yore it would have been assumed something had possessed Government, something Dark. It’s as good a theory as any.

  19. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    And you need to get some early relief for the garden centres of the UK that will soon see their stock turn to compost and their businesses go under. Here’s an idea: allow them to open under a strict regime of public health measures. Customers to email the centre and request a visit time. No family groups allowed; one customer per household. That would control the customer density and keep it at a level less than I experience at my supermarket. Gloves to be worn. Trolley handles to be disinfected. Card payments only.

    • Stred
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      It’s absurd that garden centres are allowed to sell vegetables to eat but not to plant.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      It’s not only garden centres, I wanted some zip scaffolding to do a job at home whilst locked down.
      The staff were at work but have been told they can only supply registered contractors on essential building projects.
      I could have paid by phone and they could have dropped it on my drive. No contact necessary.
      It’s as if the government is deliberately trying to bankrupt companies.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        No, it’s just that there is no way of passing thousands of different laws to regulate every activity.

      • NickC
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg, That’s a good point. Surely the purpose of the lockdown is to reduce the infection rate by restricting human interaction? Therefore the example you give, and much other work – provided it can be carried out with suitable social-distancing – should be allowed to go ahead.

        • Hope
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          I am trying to buy materials for jobs I could at some point during the year. I bought timber from a local merchant to do a job in the garden as I wanted to help local business in these times. The price was cheaper than national stores, I paid by phone, delivered on drive.

          Small garden centre near me offer similar service, unless they get business for bedding plants they will need to be destroyed and a heavy loss to small businesses. Therefore I bought by phone and will be delivered to drive. Expecting this dopey govt to close them I also bought compost, veg plants and seeds in advance. Supermarkets allowed sell but not small garden nurseries. I think it is against competition law as well.

          Plumbers and other tradesman still required for repairs.

          JR, govt could extend this to a host of small businesses.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

            Good points Hope.

            Then you fill up your green waste bin with garden waste and the Council don’t collect the once per fortnight collection – why? They wear gloves, don’t come into contact with anyone from the house and you can’t take the waste to the local tip because they’ve all shut! They’ll want 100% of the council tax though, even though they’ve closed or severely reduced most of the services that pays for.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        spot on this government under this economic lockdown has a policy to bankrupt companies

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink



        Gardening would be the ideal home exercise for millions of people, would certainly save people running around the streets.
        May also save some people from a possible mental breakdown through boredom etc.

        Would also be productive and provide some income for suppliers etc.

        Guess the only way is to get supplies/plants via the internet.

        Not looked on line as yet but plan to shortly when the decorating is finished.

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    It also needs to include people who have used umbrella companies for some or all of their gigs. It also needs to include people who happened to be in a normal gap between gigs when this started.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Do not give the loans through the banks at all – do them directly from HMRC to the businesses. The banks are hugely inefficient, slow and uncompetitive rip off middle men. As we see with their absurd, one size fits all, 39.9 % personal overdraft rates and daily overdraft fees.

    I have finally managed to get some corona virus application forms out of one bank. The information asked for is huge and not even easy to provide given the current restriction & circumstances. About two days work at least I estimate just for one of my businesses.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Many of the businesses are far more creditworthy than most of the banks and the business owners are usually rather rather more honest and straight forward too. So the HMRC would be better off without the bank middle men as well as the businesses.

      We can see this from all the endless bank mis-selling scandals with duff investments, PPE products, rip off interest rate swaps, duff insurance products, the 2008 banking crash, the endless complexity, the asset stripping they did, the Fred Goodwin types and currently the banks current 0% on deposits but still charging 39.9% interest on personal overdrafts quite a margin! Encouraged in this, it seems, by the idiotic FCA.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Steer well clear apart from a basic account for payments and receipts.

        Buy equipment through a finance company which can only take back the kit, not your house and rest of business.

        Never use your own collateral to borrow, particularly not to fund holes in turnover. Put enough for 3-6 months running from tax-paid profits into a savings account. Once that’s lost close the doors and move on. You were in the wrong business.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          Sound advice Joe Soap.

      • Al
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        I would have to say that from my experience, banking in the UK is simply not fit for business.

        Either overhaul the sector and regulations, or accept that businesses will bank overseas with the loss to the UK taxpayer.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Seems that we are near unanimous in condemning the Banks as unfit for purpose. This crisis has brought this issue to a head, which is a good thing. Some of the solutions proposed would be beneficial longterm.

  22. Javelin
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    After reading the Pandemic Planning Framework from the NHS England Quango yesterday I commented the planning appeared to STOP when it came to listing out the stockpiles, buying respirators and just in time procurement

    In otherwords – as it turns out – it stops when NHS England involves the private sector.

    Today we find out NHS England are saying all testing must be done in their public sector lab in North London and cannot be done in any private sector lab.

    There appears to be a very strong pattern.

    NHS England is playing politics with the NHS whilst hundreds of vunerable die in agony or induced comas.

    NHS England are not just incompetent they are criminally neglectful.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I tent to agree. As is indeed is much of the NHS. We have seen this time and again in endless inquiries into various failings of the NHS. It is, after all, a very poorly run state virtual monopoly and free at the point of delay and rationing. You get what your given or not given mate and like it. We have taken your money already mate.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        It may well be regulated by law in that regard.

        If so then it is the law which needs revision.

        • NickC
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Top-down bureaucracy is your favourite, isn’t it Martin?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            No, things like laws, saying that Councils must competitively tender are disastrous.

            Let’s have real local democracy, and repeal Thatcher’s centralising power grab.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


      That is certainly how it looks to me, that or they are totally and utterly incompetent, and or are unable to think of anything original, other than, this is the way we have always done it.

      The spotlight is now shining very bright on the management and staff, all of whom have wonderful pensions.
      let us hope they live to enjoy it and do not need tat facilities or ventilators themselves.

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    What is the point of these daily government question and non answer events with ministers if they just refuse to answer any of the questions asked and keep waffling drivel about their aspirations?

    What is the real position now and how many are already dying for want of ventilators and the likes. How many more do they expect to die for lack of such medical care in the next few weeks. Are the death figure quoted just hospital deaths as the business secretary said yesterday. If so how many others are there?

    I expected rather better from the man as he is one of the few MPs who has a science degree (Physics and Electrons) even one from Salford.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Why do you want to know how many are dying through lack of ventilators ? I mean the answer is “none”, but what use to you is that information ?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        How do you know the answer is none? With over 500 dying yesterday there must be very many more than that in hospital and many requiring intensive care. I simply want the governemnt to be open, honest and to know the truth.

        How desperate will they be in another week’s time or two weeks time?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Now you’re finding out what “unaccountable” really means.

          And it relates to your national government.

        • NickC
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic, The information I have from medical professionals is that, at the moment, there are plenty of ventilators, and plenty of bed spaces in provincial hospitals.

          However not everyone who is ill is in hospital, so there could be deaths of medically compromised people outside the NHS hospitals (as there always are) but who now have Covid19 as well.

          Everyone with Covid19 symptoms who enters hospital is tested. However no one is routinely tested upon release, even if they were in for say a broken arm, despite hospitals being a source of Covid19 infection.

      • anon
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Frankly why would you believe the “none” figure. We know this causes ARDs, attacks the nervous system and organs. Given we have one of the lowest rates of ventilators per 100,000 of the EU 27. Given the NHS allways has waiting lists, why would you think soft rationing is not in place already.
        Cant put Mr X on aged 60, for 3 months , as we may need that ventilator very shortly. Therefore ia there a clinical reason available to deny treatment we would normally give if capacity margin was available.

        To NHS staff: Do it openly and record it!

  24. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Directors of personal service companies paying themselves only via dividends have done that to avoid paying income tax and NI contributions. As ye sow so shall ye reap. I rely on dividend income too, from investments, but (rightly) you’re not suggesting bailing me out.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink


      • hefner
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Germany appears to have officially registered the first case on 26/02, somebody coming back from skiing holidays in Italy. It would seem that tracking/tracing was put in place very quickly. On 16/03 Chancellor Merkel was on TV to define the measures taken, partial lock-down that came to be applied on 18/03. Satellite picture from ESA shows a large testing site near Munich already on 19/03. (, 500,000 tests a week appear to have gone on now for at least two weeks. Different tests are used, one to detect the disease, then later another one to confirm the presence of antibodies.

        My own non-statistically significant story: contacts last week-end in both Hannover and the countryside 50 km from Kassel told me that although a lock-down that sounds less stringent than in the UK is being applied, very rare are people seen on the streets. However a non-negligible number of cars were still moving around whose occupants are assumed to be going shopping for food and essentials, going to the GP or to essential medically-related activities. In the Kassel area, DIY stores were still open but with restricted number of shoppers at one time inside.
        But people are told that the peak of the infection has not yet been reached. Most other opportunities (bars, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, gyms) are now impossible.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      I agree Roy, this is a big can of worms. If you don’t pay the employers and employees insurance then don’t claim from that policy.

  25. Lifelogic
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The BBC keep going on about (even delighting in) the huge increase in the size of the state sector. But if government just borrows money and lends it to the private sector to tide them over then this is not really an increase in the state sector but just a loan to the private sector. A loan the businesses will have to repay (probably twice) once as the loan and again in taxation.

    The government should ensure that government slims down hugely or these private sector will drown under the weight of government and these loans.

  26. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Please don’t keep talking about throwing in small companies’ dividends as an indicator of salary. They are not. They are investment returns. Any business owner/director should be paying themselves salary to the level that they need to live on, and to pay NI ees and ers on that, as for a PAYE employee.

    Fine to save around 25% NI ees and ers on the rest, but don’t come bleating for handouts to cover lost investment returns!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      By doing this, you are tee-ing up the chancellor to put NI onto true investment returns, which will prejudice the level of true investment.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        I agree. It’s unearned income. If you don’t pay the piper don’t expect a tune.

        If you’re treating your investment income as earned income then you are doing this to dodge tax. Then you’re expecting other taxpayers to bail you out.

  27. BOF
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    We know the case of the owner of a transport business who had to lay off his drivers. Now he has secured new contracts but cannot get his drivers back to work as they are being pay’d by the Govt., or rather, taxpayer.

    This stupidity of shutting down the country will result in a large extension of the client state to play straight into the hands of the left.

  28. Christine
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Perhaps resurrect the old Social Fund computer system which could be used to provide a loan whilst the more complicated system is being put in place.

  29. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    2. It needs to raise the earnings ceiling on the self employed scheme

    If you mean that those earning over £50K can be paid up to £2,500 per month then OK.

    If you mean that high earning self employed should be eligible for more compensation than high earning employed people then no.

    Also furloughed staff are not allowed to work for their company and earn the difference so small business are already being treated better as their profits are being made up, this is not a straight replacement for working.

    I agree that the payments should start at the same time as the employed scheme.

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Still some good news the absurd the COP26 Glasgow bean fest lunacy is to be postponed. Just cancel it please. We have had enough of this absurd war on plant food and the expensive, unreliable energy agenda and duff group think science .

    The BBC still going on and on about it yesterday with their favourite “alarmist believer” and chemist Sir David King.

    These people still seem to think they can predict the climate for 100 years and that human C02 is the main cause. Yet as we see just from this pandemic they cannot even predict the population, climate or the CO2 output – even for this year.

  31. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    HDC have posted out my rates & business rates bills for 2020/2021.

    When will my business receive its Government Grant into its business bank account?

  32. Everhopeful
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    At the moment the govt can’t even persuade supermarkets/farmers/lorry drivers/factories or whoever it may be feeds us ….to pull their fingers out.
    Maybe businesses should have spent less time and money on woke advertising and more on securing supply lines.
    Many sources have been twining on about this impending pandemic for years…so why no prepping??
    SO most unlikely the govt can or will do anything rash/remotely caring re self employed.

  33. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Let the nation get back to work.
    As your book says. We don’t believe you.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      This is an emergency.

      If you don’t care about scores of thousands of people dying on the other hand, then it would not appear to be one to you.

      I think that the conclusion is fairly obvious.

      • NickC
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Clearly you don’t care about scores of thousands of people dying either – you frequently commended Andy during the time he gloated about the deaths of elderly Brexit voters, and never criticised him for it.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

          No, I did advise him against such posts.

          I’m old.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            but none the wiser?

          • NickC
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            Martin, No, I only saw you commending Andy, not criticising him.

  34. Christine
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    We should be following Austria’s lead ensuring people wear masks when they enter supermarkets and chemists. Masks are easily made or are now available online. The outbreak in the Asian countries where masks have been wore for years hasn’t been as bad as here. Something to do with viral load and the amount of the virus a human body can cope with.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Indeed. I can’t help but notice that surgeons wear them.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        That’s to protect the patients.

        Masks are mainly about not giving it to others should you be infected, but you don’t get that, it appears.

        • NickC
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Martin, How do you know that Sea Warrior doesn’t “get that” about face masks? He just makes a simple observation that surgeons wear them, but did not give a reason. You’ve just invented your criticism, to be snide and disruptive. As usual.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          hilarious…..surgeons are not bothered by various body fluids squirting into their eyes, mouth etc. But very anxious they don’t breathe over your comatose body….you might inhale.

        • Christine
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          What you don’t seem to get is that the majority of people who catch Covid-19 are asymptomatic. They are unwittingly out and about spreading the virus, more so than the people who are sick in bed. The masks aren’t about stopping 100% of the virus but reducing the amount of virus in the air and on surfaces. Reducing the viral load to a level a body can cope with allows it to build up immunity.

  35. Everhopeful
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    If there IS a threat and it was known about …then WHY no readiness.
    If there is NO THREAT …then what the b*** h*** is going on?

    What to make of this?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I would suggest that those figures for the current week will be more illustrative than 2 weeks ago when we were registering few deaths from this virus.

      But it will be interesting in two week’s time

  36. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    My observation would be with – 4.It needs to aim for an early payout, not sometime in June.

    As a self employed person my next tax payment bill to be paid is July for the period 2018/19. So in reality I am already holding money due to the revenue, right now – today.

    Sometime in June at the very worst would be sending out money they are due to get back.

    Earnings for the last period 2019/20, that’s not even this year and the tax due on those earnings isn’t until January 2021. That would suggest if someone finds themselves in a bit of a pickle at the moment their employment strategy has gone astray and it is universal credit they should be aiming for.

    As self employed we are always holding revenue money and NHI payments earned many months ago.

  37. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I suppose I should be concerned about everyone claiming to be in hardship but I’m not. Many of the self employed who have accumulated a nice stash and have big cars and often more than one and nice houses are at the bottom of my list. I won’t go into issues of breaches of law and common decency. They should live iff their savjngs. Maybe sell some of their nice things.

    Your issue should be a sideshow. Your government is about to be torn apart by it’s inability to deliver solutions to the present emergency and by its deceits, its inability to break through the inertia and arrogance of the bureaucracy. The establishment basking in their self delusions of superiority over all things. People losing jobs all over the place but no-one in these groups suffers any such pain.

    Torn to pieces on tv this morning on Good Morning Britain for neglect and incompetency in recent years in not preparing.

    The PM blustering away again this morning and begining to look ever more foolish. Once people en masse lose faith there will some form of anarchy.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      I agree.

      I have built up some small savings for such eventualities. For my sins (planning) I am being punished. Those who are feckless and dependent on the State are to be rewarded. Not fair !

  38. villaking
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I am glad you are persevering, Sir John. This downturn should be temporary and allowing viable businesses to go bust would be pointless, immoral and wholly avoidable. Let us not forget too that the closure of the economy is by government decree thereby placing the onus on government to cushion the impact

  39. Richard1
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Boris is making a big mistake by switching the minister on the 5pm briefing everyday. The whole country is watching – people have nothing else to do. Alok Sharma was very weak yesterday – almost a caricature of ministerial evasiveness, and clearly not someone with any power or authority in the govt at least on the Wuhan virus crisis. It should be the same minister every day. I suggest Gove he is by far the most articulate.

    Perhaps time to be honest about the lack of testing? we just don’t have the chemicals because until the handbrake U-turn on herd immunity, mass testing wasn’t part of the plan. So we’re doing our best with the new plan.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Indeed. This is not the time for accountants.

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      R1, if they keep changing the minister, then he cannot be held to account for what he said the day before.

    • Andy
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Sharma was very weak. As was Jenrick. And yet they were both better than Raab.

      Mr Gove is always a reassuring presence on the podium. So long as you remember that most of what he says is not true.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Unfair on Mr Gove.

      • NickC
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Well, that’s certainly what I remember about most of what you say!

        • bill brown
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink


          You are right about Andy but give it a rest, when you comment as much as you do, it becomes rather tiring and one sided

          • NickC
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, I may comment on some posts a lot but on others I do not comment at all. I certainly comment less than Martin does, and less than Andy used to do.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I’m a bit of a political nerd but I’ve been flummoxed by all of the new Ministers making presentations each night. I guess it’s a good way of introducing us to the top team that Boris chose, if they are weak then perhaps its Boris testing out his choices!

  40. Nig l
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    If a Director of a company is not confident of its future by giving a personal guarantee why should a Bank put it’s shareholders money in? Equally if it is properly managed it will be able to produce management accounts at the press, equally how do you run a business without cash flow forecasts anyway?

    You are relying on people’s lack of understanding about business financial management and actively encouraging the banks to lend to poorly run businesses expecting shareholders to bear the cost

    Indemnify the Banks for any losses caused through your strategy and stop trying to shift the blame elsewhere.

  41. Nig l
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Interesting. No calls to the Royal Mail to give money away by slashing their prices to allow grandparents etc to get Easter eggs to the kids without paying some extortionate amount.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      My mother is able to pay the postage. Most are – from money saved by free bus passes and free TV licences.

  42. Norman
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, by going on-line t0 shop for food IN THE SMALL HOURS, I have actually now secured a delivery for Friday, and a collection slot in 2 week’s time from another company – both major supermarket chains. This is just an update to my comment of yesterday, re this very crucial area for self-isolaters.

  43. Alison
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if it’s the impression the BBC wants to create in its various reports, but there does seem to be inefficiency in organising testing. Perhaps the Army could be called in – efficient, effective, no hanging about?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      And most units have a doctor too!

  44. Sharon Jagger
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    This lockdown is very tough for some families. Many have monetary concerns, others have practical concerns.

    My son and his wife are really struggling. They are both professionals with three young children , aged nearly six and twins of just four. Their usual routine relies on both sets of grandparents and one and a half days in nursery for the twins.

    Currently they are working from seven in the morning until ten at night, have both sets of grandparents spending time on skype daily to give them a break, so they can actually spend time working. My son’s wife is going from three working days to four working days as of next week due to a promotion. Already, they are both saying that this situation is unsustainable for the longer term. My daughter in law has shed quite a few tears over the last week and a half, trying to juggle everything.

    So with all the inefficiency of the Public Health England really starting to show up for what it is – this lockdown is going to cause a tremendous amount of hardship both financially and emotionally/practically to our country. And will it actually achieve the desired effect? Because of the lack of speed and efficiency this may all have to drag on for far longer than is necessary – and the cost will be tremendous!

    Public Health England seem to have a typical civil servant mentality, nothing is ever their fault! They are making the daily update look a mockery, as MPs are saying x, y and are being done….and they are not!

  45. margaret
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Perhaps a little out of context , but as my last 2 slightly longer comments have not been posted, perhaps these papers are worth reading:-

    Modes of transmission of Viral causing Covid 19 : Implications for IPC precaution recommendations (march 2020) World Health Organisation.

    Med Rx i V. Cold spring Harbor lab ( march 2020) BMJ Yale

  46. Alison
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Posted my comment too soon. Agree with your comments re self-employed.
    The government must be more effective, more efficient (is it rather the civil servants who are inefficient?).
    One quick and certain way not to be voted back in at the next election.

  47. Bob
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Can we have a business rates holiday while the economy is closed?

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      The economy isn’t closed ….its dust, the streets dead…its a zombie zone never to return

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      There is a business rates holiday for 12 months. It’s imperative that business rates are never reintroduced and that online retailers pay their fair share. Also the delay in re-rating and then the delay in introducing the relating have meant that the North (coldest, darkest and poorest) have been subsidising the South (warmest, brightest and richest) for the last 7 years!
      The north has been very badly represented, that’s improving with the destruction of the red wall. But we need to ‘feel’ the difference and be rewarded!

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        agree – business rates is a taxation without representation

      • Bob
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        “There is a business rates holiday for 12 months. “

        That’s just for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses. What about the rest?

  48. William Long
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I cannot help thinking that a lot of the shortcomings are caused by Treasury bureaucrats and Bank managers inventing obstacles to justify their existences. The same I am sure is true in the NHS with regard to the delivery of PPE and testing equipment. The politicians need to recognise this and cut through the red tape mentality that rules all three institutions.

    • Stred
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Matt Ridley in the Spectator reveals that Public Health England has uniquely refused to use private testing companies, some of which sell to the rest of the world. They have set up a larger test centre of their own in Milton Keynes where some testing machines are sitting idle. These may include some of machines lent to them by my wife’s lab, which is now closed. The NHS has refused to follow the US in ordering tests from commercial producers and insists that these have to be confirmed at its own lab. They would rather that staff were unable to work and people stayed in lock down when they are immune than use the tests that are available from others.
      This on top of the refusal to send protection equipment without an order number, when the system is clogged up.
      This Soviet top heavy over managed shambles needs replacing. The staff and customers deserve better.

  49. Irene
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I think the horse is dead. Stop flogging it.

    Read Anthony Costello’s article in yesterday’s Guardian. The litany of failures will for ever and a day be the legacy of your government. A government that should have been “up to speed” – to use your own words – long ago. You really have blown it. As every viewer of the feeble ‘Daily Briefings’ knows.

  50. Andy
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Coronavirus does post an interesting conundrum in that it is relatively mild for most younger people but deadly for many older people.

    Older people tend to be better off – they’ve mostly paid off their mortgages and their income is secure because they don’t work.

    Younger people are mostly poorer – and are facing large restrictions on their lives and their ability to earn to help the old.

    It is, if you like, the wealth of the healthy versus the health of the wealthy.

    I hope, when this is done, older people will take a much more realistic look at the world – at the huge advantages you have had which you deny others – and that you will all change your ways. The generations you so readily dismiss as snowflakes have literally given up everything to keep you all safe.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      More dreadful ageist nonsense from you Andy.
      Many old people are in poor health.
      Many old people are very poor, living on just the meagre state pension.
      Old people deny you nothing.

    • outsider
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Dear Andy, Your write that older people should “all change your ways”. I would be genuinely interested to know what you had in mind.

    • NickC
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Andy, There is a reason people like you are dismissed as snowflakes. That reason is you’ve had it cushy compared to the lives of most older people, yet you still whinge when even the most minor thing goes wrong for you.

      From outside (sometimes shared) toilets; to no heating; to long hours of apprenticeship plus Tech evening classes; to no cars, never mind no battery cars; to an NHS you would not recognise so basic was it; to shortages of basic necessities, and so on.

      You gloat about elderly Brexit voters dying off, but see nothing wrong with a Remain complaining that she won’t have Nando’s because we’re leaving the EU. Snowflakes?? You’re a joke. And pathetic.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Nando’s is a South African company! Nothing to do with the EU! 😂😂

    • Fred H
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Andy – -I take it you would like OAPs to offer to share some of their lifetime earned £7000 to £10000 per year pension? Just how much would you be comfortable taking off them?

  51. George Brooks.
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Your blog today is understandable Sir John but I am sorry to say it is missed timed and out of place. It appears to me to be pandering to the electorate and missing the main task in hand.

    We are fighting a virus that has shut down most economies in the world and certainly here in the UK. The main task is to tame and contain Covi-19 as quickly as possible. At present Public Health England is drowning in it’s own administrative procedures and the government needs to install a team that knows how to set up a system for national screening. It also needs to maintain a distribution system of PPE whereby the right kit gets to where it is needed. The army has done a lot in this respect but now draft in a top distribution team from Amazon or similar company to make sure that there is a robust accurate system is up and running 24/7.

    Rather than worry about some people who fall outside the chancellor’s support system (as there will always be some) please concentrate on taming and containing this virus so the whole country can get back to work PDQ

    Reply I am not a medic or vaccination expert . Government is big enough to be able to handle economic as well as medical matters. All the time the scientists require closure of big chunks of the economy I will argue we need to try to offset some of the economic damage. Why don’t you tell them how to beat the virus.

    • Irene
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      Test – test – test.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      One way would be to boost immune systems with proven body supporting supplements, including Vitamins: A, C & D, and Zinc.

      That would be easy to do…

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        The supplements are sold out in many supermarkets.

        People are doing this.

        • graham1946
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Mail order firms are still bombarding me with emails trying to sell the stuff even offering 20 percent discounts, so presumably there is no real shortage.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        pointless unless you are already low in those vitamins. Normal diet covers it just fine….

    • Stephen Glasse
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      The shutting down of the world s economies was a political decision not a necessary outcome of c-19 see Sweden and Japan. Not only this but many experts have described lockdown as ineffective and harmful e.g. NHS pathologist Prof John Lee (see links below)..

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        This is an economic lockdown not a medical lockdown

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Swedes are becoming very anxious about the consequences of that decision too.

        The portents are ominous.

  52. RichardP
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I think the Government needs to get the country back to work before the economy is destroyed and takes the NHS with it.

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      In a nutshell, RP. As COVID-19 is no longer classified as a High Consequence Infectious Disease there is no justification, in my view, for trashing the economy, destroying so many jobs and livelihoods, wreaking irreversible damage on some businesses, and putting the fear of God into so many vulnerable and elderly people who have been genuinely terrified by the hype from the media, and some politicians. The hype has been unrelenting, and it is escalating, and the media, especially the BBC, ought to be ashamed of themselves. They won’t be, however, as they think that they have licence to do this from the politicians. Certainly the politicians have done nothing to curb the hysteria porn of the media. In many cases they have added to it, and also thrown in confusing messages to the mix.

      • NickC
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Original Chris, I think you are correct. Your phrase about the MSM’s “hysteria porn” is spot on.

  53. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Commercial banks are conservative (with a small ‘c’) and it is their normal practice to demand collateral (usually in the form of property) for any loan. If the Government wishes them to lend on any other basis, it needs to underwrite these loans, paying some or all of any bad loans. It is no good trying to use the media to bully banks (a) it’s disreputable and (b) it won’t work. If Government wills the end it has to will the means.

  54. ukretired123
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The missing link between the SMEs and the govt ended around 1990 and certainly when John Major became PM as I noticed was a self-employed starter:-

    “You were on your own!”

    Since then I have had to fight the system as unlike in the USA SMEs were never cherished in the UK but used and abused by being taken advantage of due to their minimal leverage in business contracts which was based on who you know, not what you knew.

    SJR is one of the handful of MPs who has both a knowledge and depth of real world practicalities and I applaud him getting key points across to the govt, despite all the bric-bats!
    Whilst he cannot fix the problems he has the courage to get the message across so from my experience I recommend “Don’t stone the messenger!” Instead do something about it yourself and key us know your constructive contributions .

  55. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Please remember Landlords whose income has been cut off with Government support, but whose obligations including Mortgage payments at extortionate rates above base rate continue.

  56. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Early this morning I heard a female presenter on BBC radio lecturing people about staying indoors – then in the next breath describing herself as a “Key Worker” ( so her driving to work was OK ). As her job is sat at a desk talking – why is that “essential”? She could do that by computer link or telephone. All she was saying was the typical BBC biased speech whipping all the snowflakes into mass hysteria – then I realised they had just swapped from Anti-Brexit to this virus.

    • NickC
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Bigneil, Yes, par for the course from the BBC.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      I have made the decision that if the BBC license is bundled with broadband I will be dispensing with broadband and go back to pen and ink. The BBC is NOT welcome in my house.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      The right wing ultras seem to be the ones in hysteria. Just read their comments here.

      Most normal people have adapted to what is necessary with highly commendable calmness and good humour.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Martin, yours, Andy’s, LL’s and various others certainly do not show ‘adapted to highly commendable calmness and good humour’.

        Read what is written…you keep telling others.

  57. Mark
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink


    I am very concerned that the government have fallen into the classic trap of over promising and under delivering

    The testing issue is clearly out of hand.

    The economic offers similarly appear screwed up.

    And for what?

    There is every likelihood that national mortality will be little changed from any other year

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      “the classic trap of over promising and under delivering”. This is just the stock in trade of nearly all politicians. That is how they get elected.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      When you fail to plan, you end up planning to fail. And this is what has happened.

  58. glen cullen
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    While I applaud your efforts to get more support to SMEs, its too late

    Sorry but SMEs just don’t have the reserves, the 2008 recession followed by 4 years of government/brexit uncertainty and now covid19 with an economic lockdown.

    SMEs will be closing down end of this month, no maybe loan in June, no maybe furlough in May, but closing down

    Just watch the unemployment figures at the end of April

    Sir John its just too late

    Reply Yes, I am telling the government every day matters and unemployment is already climbing rapidly

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      My comment a few days ago on the removal of COVID-19 from the High Consequence Infectious Disease category on 19 March was not posted by Sir John.
      It is an extremely important development and provides necessary, and even vital information for everyone in the UK. It is reported on the government’s own website (link below). The reason it was reclassified and effectively now put in the same category as seasonal flu is because of better knowledge demonstrating the low overall death rates, better testing available.

      Status of COVID-19
      “As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

      The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

      The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID”

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Additional information from the government website about HCIDs (which COVID-19 is NOT now classified as, since 19 March):
        “Definition of HCID

        In the UK, a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) is defined according to the following criteria:
        •acute infectious disease
        •typically has a high case-fatality rate
        •may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
        •often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
        •ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
        •requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely

        Classification of HCIDs
        HCIDs are further divided into contact and airborne groups:

        •contact HCIDs are usually spread by direct contact with an infected patient or infected fluids, tissues and other materials, or by indirect contact with contaminated materials and fomites

        •airborne HCIDs are spread by respiratory droplets or aerosol transmission, in addition to contact routes of transmission

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      So John, in years to come, will people be entitled to look back, and to blame your party for high unemployment these days, like they blame Labour for the various problems here specifically caused by the global financial crisis?

      • NickC
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Labour helped to create the financial crisis!

        • bill brown
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:38 am | Permalink

          Nick C

          Please, explain to us how Labour helped create the financial crisis?

          • NickC
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

            Bill B, Gordon Brown used the CPI to set the bank (hence mortgage) rates. This was too low due to CPI (Chinese Prices Index! haha) mainly measuring the Chinese injection of deflation into the global economy. This over-inflated the UK housing market. It was similar to the way the EZ clobbered the PIIGS with over low rates. Brown was also in bed with Fred-the-Shred, and other bankers, tailoring his policies to suit them.

            Then Brown developed massive hubris by claiming that he had cured “boom and bust”. Of course he hadn’t – in fact his policies were a disaster waiting to happen. But it took his eye off what was really going on. When the USA went down – due to Clinton beefing up the CRA – the nudge was sufficient to tip the UK’s dodgy finances over the edge.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink


          Was it they, who back pedalled on a clandestine immigrant amnesty in the US, and caused a sharp residential property correction, turning many mortgages into liabilities for the lenders?

          Here’s me thinking it was G.W. Bush.


    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Sir John.

      Many here are now pointing to data, including government data, that suggest Corvi19 is low risk especially to the younger, healthier and economically active in society. We need to use this to convince the government to change. The so called experts have dug themselves into a hole and are looking for a face saving way out realising the mess they have caused. We need government to take firm and decisive action.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Well said Mark B

        We need a group of cross party MPs to challenge the government lockdown

  59. oldwulf
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    “The government needs to include owner Directors of small companies who rely on the income and maybe dividends of their business to pay their living costs.”

    Is it right that those who have sought to avoid paying their “dues” (albeit legally) should be supported on the same basis as those who have not sought to avoid payment ?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Right-wing capitalist me was completely unswayed by his argument. Mind you, I also expect every citizen and company to have cash reserves to sustain them for a 3-6 month period with no income/revenue.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        That went out the window when the Government denied us ‘honest money’.

    • inspired
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      There are many valid reasons for small company owner/directors choosing to pay the majority of their “dues” by means of dividends rather than salary. Just one being that profitability (or otherwise) and cash flow can be erratic to say the least even at the best of times, and this allows the owner / director to flex what they earn in order to ensure the company has what it needs to stay open for its customers, employees and suppliers.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        So they can live on the PA YE salary ergo they don’t need a handout related to dividends now.

        • NickC
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Sir Joe, No, that’s not what Inspired said or meant. As a one man band, I relied on my dividends as well as my PAYE – together in any one tax year.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Of course it is? It is perfectly legal (and minimising your tax liability is a highly moral thing to do) particularly given how wasteful, generally inept and misguided so much government spending is.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. The super rich ‘give’ all their profits to charities, ie they choose how to spend their tax rather than leaving it to Govt, and the govt reward them for this strategy. Honours etc too!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink


      As someone here has said. The Self employed do not want handouts. We want good governance. We want to be able to earn our money and keep as much as possible to spend it on the things we want. We do not want governments to have it as they waste most of it on things nobody wants. Simple as.

      So lets get this House Arrest thing ended and let us all get back to work. Leave the high risk people in their homes for the duration. Most are economically inactive anyway.

    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The public sector, the unions, Labour and the lefty cabal are playing this CV-19 issue for all it’s worth. They see a superb opportunity to expand budgets, influence and reach both within the sub-State and in the real world where they’re desperately trying foment a socialist mindset and collectivist mentality. That good old private sector taxpayer will be smashed, the public sector will still remain beyond reform and companies will become even more under political control of the unions and this interventionist government

    And the NHS and PHE are desperately trying to prevent funding from flowing away from them and into the private healthcare sector to finance more CV-19 testing

    Again, it’s all politics, expanding budgets and a refusal to act pragmatically to maintain public sector control

    When will the pain being experienced in the private sector be shared in the public sector?

    ps. A certain Labour MP’s fallen amazingly quiet in recent weeks

  61. inspired
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The furlough scheme is fundamentally flawed, the support needs to allow part time working , for example teams A and B that can only work 50% of the time at best, to be supported proportionally, the employee is at best 50% productive but the employer is faced with either putting them on furlough and making them 0% productive, or keeping them at for 100% pay.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      This is true perhaps I can give people one days work a week but not five why can I not part furlough?

  62. glen cullen
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Talk about mission drift …..

    The first mission was to identify & isolate covid19

    Now it appears to be about minimising the risks resultant from economic lockdown

    If the conditions of the lockdown are the problem just remove the lockdown

    Just like Sweden

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink


      The private side of the economy is being sacrificed because the public behemoth that is the NHS and the government itself have both been exposed as incompetent. And this incompetency means that it has little or no room to deal with this minor drama so, it turns it into a crisis. A crisis which it really showing the nasty underbelly of the State and its various institutions. All helped along with an MSM that deals more in sensationalism that journalism.

  63. George Brooks.
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I never suggested for minute that you were a medic or vaccination expert, Sir John.

    The government looks like they have taken the right decisions but it is the implementation of some parts such as testing and distribution of kit that is hampering the whole exercise and giving the media a big stick to beat you with.

    If I am wrong then someone needs to explain why the roll-out of testing has been missing every published target and tell us the truth.

    A director of PHE, in an appalling interview on Sky News yesterday evening, did not give out a single new fact just a string of previously aired platitudes and excuses. To be kind to him one could think he was making a bad job of hiding something. Alternatively he may have been demonstrating that he has been promoted above his level of competence.

  64. Stephen Glasse
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t the Government take the only moral and sane action: release the British people from house arrest and get the economy moving by allowing people back to work? The Gov website acknowledges that COVID 19 is not a High Incident Infectious Disease because of its low fatality rate and a surgeon I wrote to acknowledges that it is far less infectious than chicken pox or measles! The data from Italy suggests that 90% of the deaths are in individuals over 70 and 80% of the victims had chronic illnesses! Prof Ferguson of Imperiel seemed to admit that circa 2/3 of those who die from/with C19 in the next nine months would have died anyway. Stop this insane dystopian, totalitarian policy. Science is not a monolithic thing – you’ve simple chosen one method/model namely a total violation of civil liberties combined with economic collapse over another. Social isolation and the closure of the economy are not on a par with the laws of thermodynamics! GET US OUT OF THIS MESS!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      And to achieve this I am prepared to release the NHS form any duty of care for me in all circumstances.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink


      Fully agree with your comments


  65. Original Chris
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    A very timely and earnest appeal by Peter Hitchens to get the government to reconsider its policy with regard to COVID-19. He states that lockdown does more harm than good. Quotes medical experts, and Lord Sumption also.
    Videoclip on this link:
    60 Second Sound Off: ‘Lockdown is a grave MISTAKE that needs to end now – or our grandchildren will pay the price’ says Peter Hitchens. Do you agree?

  66. ian terry
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Great to see on the 1 o clock news the number of British factories rising to the challange to produce protective clothing for the NHS. When it hits the fan then the good old British resolve comes to the fore. Do we really need to keep buying everything in future from China? The new high unemployment figures could be reduced quite considerably I should image if the government and the nation went back to supporting brand Made in England/UK. As it has become situation normal the following highlights another area that has got to be addressed which has been pushed out on a really bad news day. Sooner our later this country has got to get back into the real real world.

    O/T with thanks to Not A Lot of People Know That Blog.
    The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation paper on the future of UK transport, which calls for a major shift out of cars into cycling, walking and buses, and “using cars differently in future”, but hasn’t told anyone about it.
    The paper crept out on March 26, the day that UK Covid-19 victims reached 578, up to that point the largest recorded daily increase.
    Citing the Government’s 2050 net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions target, Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, espouses a vision where “we will use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network.
    “From motorcycles to HGVs, all road vehicles will be zero emission,” he writes, “and technological advances… will change the way vehicles are used.”
    The paper also confirms that even though it has left the EU, the UK will continue to adhere to the EU’s strict CO2 emissions standards for cars, which are the toughest in the world. While the paper invites debate, it sets the terms of that debate fairly strictly it has been made abundantly clear the public will not bee given a say.

  67. The pity of it
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Personally, this could be normal practice, I was alarmed that the Bank of England could and did tell British banks not to not pay dividends and they obeyed.

    Immediately, their share prices declined locking in the common person into their investment which they would be unwise to sell as it would make a loss and also leave them not knowing if the dividend would rerun and if ever the share price would return to where it was.

    Not a wonderful action for the little person who may also have invested small savings from profits made in his own business, for retirement or as money to be used in rainy days for the business. .

    • Nig l
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes. It was a knee jerk decision by a panicking government that hadn’t thought through the unintended consequences indeed from my experience, they just don’t know or understand the detail.

      All they thought was a political win against those nasty banks. Indeed the Minister even got some of that wrong because neither HSBC nor Barclays received HMGs bailout money.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      This decision came from the top i.e the chancellor via the BoE/PRA and is the most ridicules thing in government I’ve ever witnessed

      Sir John, his party and his government should be ashamed of the letter sent to the banks from the BoE/PRA

      ”The PRA stands ready to consider use of our supervisory powers should your group not agree to take such action.”

  68. Stephen Glasse
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      I would also like to know what proportion of people going into hospital for something else, wind up with coronavirus as a hospital infection and end up seriously ill with it or even fatally.
      They don’t know of course because no one will be tested who doesn’t display the symptoms.
      Even if they did know, I’m pretty sure the information would be kept back if the proportion was high.

  69. MickN
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    One thing I would be glad to have an answer to is this:
    Germany for example is showing:
    79465 cases positive
    944 fatalities
    19175 recovered

    We are showing:
    33718 cases positive
    2921 fatalities
    179 recovered

    I can accept the differing rate of deaths but cannot see how we are stating that the number recovered is less than 200.

    This doesn’t seem right. Perhaps someone can help me with an answer.

    • hefner
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      A big mistake in my previous post, sorry: the first case in Germany was detected on 19/01 after a Shanghai-based employee visited the German headquarters in Bavaria.
      ( ‘Why Germany’s low Covid-19 death rate might be a mirage’).

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Recovered numbers still remain at 135 (hasn’t change since 22nd march)
      Source worldometer

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Without testing we are in the dark but Germany has been testing for longer and wider than us hence they know more about the recovered.
      Last week our son was told by paramedics on 111 think he had it with breathing difficulties, fever and nausea but little coughing but was advised not to go to hospital where it could be tested / or confirmedbut stay self-isolating !

  70. marksman
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I have the exact problem, one employee with nothing to do and two who are working part time. The furloughed employee is set to receive more each month for doing nothing that the part time employees who have accepted a salary cut.

    • inspired
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes it is well intentioned I believe but totally daft in practice

  71. Everhopeful
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    How come the NHS is still sending out those awful poo stick testing kits?
    Who might be in the labs to test them?
    How would one go for possible follow ups if even necessary ops are being cancelled?
    Does the virus know about “necessary” trips?
    Is one more at risk taking an unnecessary outing?

  72. glen cullen
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Recovered numbers still remain at 163 today (hasn’t change since 22nd march)
    Reported on news that our royalty and some politicians have recovered but are not shown up in figures
    This puts the reliability of all the statistics into question

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      edit 163 for 135
      Recovered numbers still remain at 135 (hasn’t change since 22nd march)
      Source worldometer

  73. L Jones
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    ”… the government needs to speed up….”
    The government needs to speed up generally. Listening to the can-do attitude of the US in their press conferences just shows what can be achieved, or at least set into motion, by some positive thinking and determined mandates. As should be possible, for example, with PHE.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately we opted to outsource our manufacturing.

      It’s turned out to be a very VERY expensive mistake.

      I wonder if Germany is sharing much of her PPE with the rest of the EU as she should be doing. Seeing as she carved up for herself much of the EU manufacturing industry.

      70 Italian doctors dead. Why weren’t they given German PPE ?

      EU in action or EU inaction ???

  74. Anonymous
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir John and I hope to god that someone is organising the stockpiling of non perishable foods and a rationing system.

    Obviously this is going to be the next problem and we’d better not be wrong footed on this.

    My own take on the CV 19 problem is (and I’m not heartless, I want the best for people) that we’re going to have to come out of our fox holes sooner rather than later regardless of the availability of a vaccine.

    I expect historians might conclude that it would have been better had we not gone into them at all (or in a limited way – vulnerable people only.)

    Nature does this to us from time to time. It is arrogant to think we can stop it.

    No businesses = No NHS.

    And also we really need to think of the sacrifice we are expecting young medical staff to make. 70 doctors dead in Italy.

    I am well in the at-risk age group.

    I do not want any of these sacrifices made for me.

  75. Going Viral
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Google: “Bay Area coronavirus cases climb as testing grows: 26% test positive at Hayward site” (San Francisco Chronicle, 26 March):

    “confirmed cases climbed in the Bay Area, topping 1,400, with at least 32 deaths.
    At the city-run site, 26% — 54 out of 207 tested Monday, its first day — were positive.”

    Please listen up *very hard*, for this means:

    a) they’ve found 26% of a near random population sample tested positive.

    So if done in this (or any other) country that probably means 15 million people would test positive. And that means the actual mortality rate for the current UK (2nd Apr) number of deaths (2,352) is only 0.016%!!! i.e. about only ONE IN SIX THOUSAND! – whereas the authorities are suggesting it is about 1 in 12 in the UK and 1 in 8 in Italy and hence justifying this totally OTT overreaction and Draconian regime.

    b) lest anyone doubt the figures in (a), the Bay area figure is 32 deaths/1400 cases: which is a mortality rate of 2.3%, and greatly overstated by the fact they are overall testing mostly only those showing symptoms, but is still a far lower mortality rate than the UK (8%) and Italy (12%).

    The *only* reason the SF Bay figure is not like the 1 in 6000 death rate (about half the death rate of UK seasonal flu = 0.03%) estimate for the UK deduced from the SF Bay first day testing figures, is they haven’t yet tested enough, i.e. all the millions who would test positive but aren’t showing any symptoms, let alone dying.

    This ultimately is a war of propaganda based on false statistics and can only be won by defeating the bogus statistics that the modern day “Goebbels” are using to justify this disastrous phoney war.

    I’m sure there are plenty other statistics like the above, which are only now emerging as it is only now we are starting to see more testing and published figures of those tests.

  76. ian
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the cure for C19 is something as simple as Dettol vape or a Dettol inhaler into the lungs to kill C19, in the old days they use boiling water in a blow with a towel over their head and breath in the steam or Vic vapour rub on your chest to clear the airways overnight.

    BAT think they have the cure which will come in the form of a vape, waiting around for big drug companies come up with a multi-billion-pound cure is just wasting time, with a vape or inhaler people would able to go back to work right away.

  77. Original Chris
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Wise words from US author and film maker, Dinesh D’Souza, on the role of scientific experts versus the statesman in determining policy, (i.e. the PM) in policy making:
    “Medical personnel typically focus on one dimension: the health dimension. Statesmen, however, must also consider the economic dimension and the threats to constitutional freedom. Statesmen, not epidemiologists, must chart the course of public policy”.

    I fear that things have been very skewed in favour of the Imperial College modellers, with scant regard for the economic devastation the current policy is causing, nor the erosion of our rights and freedoms. I feel that Boris has yet to step up to the mark in this regard. He has not behaved as a true statesman, in my view, but appears to have been blinded by projections and estimates from apparently flawed models.

    • ed2
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      I fear that things have been very skewed in favour of the Imperial College modellers,

      The modellers have scaled things down from 500.000 to 20,000 and now 5300, but the govt and Media press on regardless.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Concerning a Global Warming too – very flawed models – they need to be ditched and the modellers need to be unemployed!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      Hear hear.


  78. Original Chris
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    The government, on 19 March, reclassified COVID-19 and REMOVED IT from the High Consequence Infectious Disease category, due, among other things, to more detailed information available showing that the death rate from CV was relatively LOW.

    This information is on the government website, and it is vital, and in the interests of transparency, that the public are made aware of this, as the current disease control policy should be viewed in the light of this.
    Status of COVID-19

    As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

    The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

    The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.


    • ed2
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      This information is on the government website, and it is vital, and in the interests of transparency

      It gets worse, because the New England Journal of Medicine reclassified the fatality rate on March 26th from 8% to 0.1%, identical to flu, which is what coronavirus is. No mention of it anywhere, but it’s on their website.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      Many thanks

  79. Anonymous
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Germany is doing so well on testing and PPE because she cornered much of the EU’s manufacturing for herself and has hoarded all the kit for home use.

    As mother of the EU surely she should have shared equipment and helped the Italians avoid the deaths of 70 doctors.

    This EU thing. Working really well in a crisis, isn’t it !

    We were told time and again that it didn’t matter when factory after factory closed and our jobs were shipped abroad and we were left with the only service jobs that went in a puff of smoke last week.

    At least Sunak’s bail outs would be going to factories that could be switched to PPE/test kit/ventilator production.

    Also I have heard that the NHS has long procurement processes and buys only from those it knows. This could be holding things up.

    Alas, an MOT test is only as good as the day it was taken. The car can be a death trap the day after but the records show it’s safe.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Well the UK very generously shared BSE with rest of the European Union, so there’s an example eh?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        In the 22 January 2006 issue of The Lancet it was stated that the theory is unprovable, only in the same sense as all other BSE origin theories are, and that your allegation warrants further investigation. So there !

  80. ian
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Bailouts are going well then john, 25 billion to date with rail companies pensions, the NHS and private health care.

  81. Polly
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    It seems extraordinary that Prime Minister Johnson has blocked the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as a last resort for critically ill C-19 sufferers.

    The US has approved such use, so why not Britain ?

    After all, in critical cases, it can hardly make the situation worse and there is plenty of evidence that these drugs cure a large number of patients.


    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

      He was probably advised not to. Can’t have the country going back to work.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Same argument as chlorinated chicken. They can’t possibly be seen to follow Trump.

      Alternatively, possibly waiting for NICE to have a meeting in a month or two to say lives are not worth the cost.

    Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    1 day ago
    a friend works in a UK hospital and the “isolation ward ” of 22 beds is (you guessed) empty

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      wish someone would take a picture and publish

    • graham1946
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Surely this is a good thing, or are you saying people who need the beds don’t get them? Matt Hancock said last night that there are 1800 Intensive Care Beds spare at the moment and that they will be needed, on top of the potential 4,000 in the Nightingale hospital. We need to be prepared. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  83. Freeborn John
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Why won’t you speak out on the lack of negotiations with the EU or the remainer campaign to extend transition?

    If boris extends your party’s support will be back where it was when Theresa May was leader. And we forget by the next General Election.

    • Freeborn John
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Edit; we won’t forget by the next General election.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

      What very few commentators are pointing out is, that if the EU wants an extension, and remember they are the ones calling for one, then they can request one. But they won’t because they cannot be seen to look weak. Time is running out for them. Come the 1st July 2020, the latest date for an extension the EU will soon realise that we are serious. They new Theresa May MP was never serious and so they bossed her about. Time will tell if PM Johnson is made of sterner stuff.

  84. everyone knows
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Youtube have stopped me uploading so it’s up to you now John.

  85. an appeal to John
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Someone needs to tell Labour MPs that they have been living in a false reality dream world created for them by the MSM for the last 20 years atleast. That all the major high emotional events that motivate politicians were faked. If they cannot escape this fantasy world they live in then we are no effective opposition. Infact we may as well just be ruled by piers morgan.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      It doesn’t matter what opposition MPs think.

      The Tories have a majority of eighty, thanks to FPTP.

      What’s more, many of them are tame, eager-to-please newbies.

      It’s a Rubber Stamping Parliament, way beyond anything of which the European Union’s might be accused.

      Now there’s irony for you.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        They have s majority because that was the result of our recent election.
        Which you still cannot accept nor come to terms with.

        I know how you feel Martin, I had to put up with three terms of Blair and Brown.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          I accept it Ed.

          But please read my replies in the context of the post to which they were made.

          You repeatedly fail to do this, and post irrelevances such as yours here.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            That’s your opinion.
            Which I don’t agree with.

  86. a-tracy
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m beginning to get very annoyed by our government getting important information out to employers via Martin blimin Lewis.

    “Employees who were on a firm’s payroll on 28 Feb, who left after to start new job, which fell thru due to Coronavirus (eg. didnt start/or they’re making u redundant). Your old employer CAN rehire you to furlough you. Offical statement…”

    What the hell, why not just let their new employer furlough them and keep them retained once they are retrading, you are making things so difficult for no benefit. So we have to P45 them and lay them off, what with no notice? Then they get signed back on to their old boss who has to set up their payroll record for them again and then what – do they have to keep them on when the furlough is over, it is Pathetic!!! and I’m getting cross.

    All of my questions have been ignored to the IOD and the FPB but Martin Lewis can get an answer – get a grip. I am sick of Lewis making employers out to be the bad guys.

    Businesses are told once furloughed you have to keep someone on and for a minimum of three weeks, but work may pick up and you can’t then restart them without losing the furlough payment. Then what happens if you want to make them redundant because work doesn’t pick up is the furlough you’ve already paid out safe and definately getting refunded from the government.

    People on long term sick and have been for three months, now want to be furloughed because furlough pay is more – can they go on furlough pay now and taken off SSP? What happens at the end of their current doctors sick note, so they automatically go on furlough because they have a note from their GP saying they’re not fit for work for 12 weeks.

    What about parents who because the schools are going to close for three months but you have work for them want furlough instead to cover childcare, is this for both parents, business don’t have to check? I know people who are getting really cross that they are working full time and colleagues both parents are getting a free ride in other families.

    I want these answers from Government not someone benefitting from hits on their website and I want the rules and regulations properly.

  • 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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