Winter Economy Plan

I have today received this letter from the Chancellor:

I am writing to set out our Winter Economy Plan, the next phase of our planned economic response to coronavirus, following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation.

There are reasons to be cautiously optimistic: thanks to our comprehensive and generous response in March, we have seen three consecutive month of economic growth, millions of people have moved off the furlough and back to work, and consumer spending is returning. But the resurgence of the virus threatens our recovery. And now it is clear we have to live with coronavirus for months to come, this means the economy cannot return to exactly as it looked in March and the economic rationale for the next phase of support must be different to that which came before.

So today, we are focussing on dealing with the problems businesses face right now – supporting viable jobs through a time of depressed demand.

Job Support Scheme

Now the economy is opening up, we should target support on those businesses that need it most: companies that have been impacted by coronavirus, and helping them to keep staff on reduced hours rather than laying them off, and to protect people’s wages. Our aim is to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus.

So we are launching a new employment scheme – the Job Support Scheme. The company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the burden of hours not worked will be shared equally between the employee, employer and government, a third each way. The Scheme is focused on viable jobs, so employees need to be working at least a 33% of the time, and this % will move up over time. The Scheme will open from 1 November, and run for six months until the end of April 2021.

All businesses, not just those who used the furlough scheme, will be eligible. Larger businesses (not SMEs) will only be eligible if their revenue has declined. Furthermore, there will be an expectation that large companies using the scheme will be constrained in their ability to make dividend payments or capital distributions to shareholders, and employees will not be able to be made redundant or given notice whilst on the scheme. Employers will also be able to use the Job Support Scheme as well as claim the Jobs Retention Bonus.

And to ensure parity between employees and self-employed, we will also provide a further grant for self-employed small businesses who used the existing SEISS scheme. Eligibility criteria will be refined to check whether the self-employed trader is still viable and trading and is suffering lower revenues as a result of coronavirus. The grant will match the average grant of the Job Support Scheme, and represent 20% of three month earnings, for November to January.

Greater support for business’ cash flow

We have also acted to minimise the strains on companies’ cashflows so they can focus their resources on supporting employment:

Greater flexibility for repaying loans through our new ‘Pay As You Grow’ scheme. We recognise that many of the one million small businesses who have benefitted from our loan schemes have never borrowed finance before. That is why we want to give them greater flexibility to repay these loans over a longer period and in way which suits their circumstances. All borrowers will now have the option to repay their Bounce Back Loans over a longer time period by extending the term of BBLs to ten years – this will reduce their average monthly repayments by almost half. On an average £30,000 loan, this reduces the monthly payment from £532 to £309.

Businesses will also be able to move to interest-only repayments for periods of up to six months – or to pause repayments entirely for the same period. It will have no impact on a business’s credit rating if they take up any of those options. And we will also allow CBILS lenders to extend their loans to ten years as well by extending our Government guarantee, providing more flexibility and support for businesses.

More time for businesses to access our range of loan schemes. Over 1 million businesses across the United Kingdom have already benefitted from over £57 billion through our business loan schemes. But we are giving them even more access to support by extending the deadline for new applications until the end of November for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Future Fund. Along with our Bounce Back Loans, this means all four loan schemes will now expire at the end of November. We will work with businesses and lenders to introduce a new loan guarantee scheme from January 2021.

Extending our temporary VAT cut for tourism and hospitality. To continue supporting the 150,000 businesses and 2.4 million jobs in tourism and hospitality, we are extending the temporary 5 per cent rate of VAT until the end of March 2021. When we announced this in July, this was originally due to end in January 2021, but we recognise that the tourism and hospitality sector has been severely affected by coronavirus.

• Deferring repayments of VAT to support businesses during this period. Over half a million businesses have already benefitted from being able to defer Q2 2020 VAT payments until March 2021 – worth over £30 billion to over half a million businesses. But we don’t want businesses to face large bills for deferred VAT just as the economy is getting back on its feet – which is why we are launching a new scheme to allow businesses who want extra time to pay back the VAT they owe in smaller equal monthly payments, interest-free, until the end of March 2022. On average, this means turning a one-off £60,000 payment into 11 payments of less than £6,000.

• More time for self-assessment businesses to pay back. Around 1.5 million businesses who pay through income tax self-assessment benefitted from our Self-Assessment Tax Deferral, deferring an estimated £6 billion to be paid in July 2020 to the end of January 2021. But to help them further, we are upgrading our Time To Pay service so that all 11 million self-assessment taxpayers will be able to create a 12-month payment arrangement for up to £30,000 each, and extended under the end of January 2022 – that’s an 18 month deferral.

These measures build on the enormous amount the government has already done to protect people’s livelihoods and support businesses directly, through a package of loans, business grants, business rates relief and wage support already worth £190 billion. Our Plan for Jobs in July set out how we will go further to protect, support and create jobs as we get the UK economy back on its feet.


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  1. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, let’s stand back from this, and – whatever the justifications – consider the fact that the taxpayer is picking up the losses of the private sector in the bad times, while the bosses enjoy the profits in the good ones.

    Finally, people may accept that there needs to be a proper debate in this country – and in many others – about what a sensible structure to the economy should be, about what resources should be devoted to proper contingency planning, and not least about tax collection from the giants.

    These pandemics are a fact of life, and only likely to become more frequent. We are indeed fortunate that this virus is not especially lethal.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Are you the same Martin that went on and on in many postings here – that lockdowns, slow and delayed measures were required to eradicate this ‘especially lethal’ virus?
      You changed your tune!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        About ten times more lethal than flu is indeed “not particularly lethal” compared to say, ebola, Fred, and I never claimed otherwise, as you wrongly state that I did.

        The £379 billion is interesting though. It’s pretty close to the UK’s annual revenues from commercial ties with the European Union.

        So who cares about a No Deal?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        It’s also the same Martin who told us we should follow Japan’s example in tackling Covid which, I should remind you, involved no lockdown, no school closures, next to no testing, followed by panic, a partial lockdown, but still next to no testing.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Yes, because virtually the entire country voluntarily wore masks and socially distanced at the first handful of cases.

          Suspected possible cases also assiduously self-quarantined.

      • steve
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Fred H

        You [MiC] changed your tune!

        Labour people do that all the time.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          and people of other political persuasion!

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      It is true that the State provides the security and the infrastructure in which the privateer can thrive.

      But ‘losses’ means people, doesn’t it.

      And profits are such a tiny TINY margin of turnover that the vast majority of us do not take the bother much less the risk.

      Pandemics a fact of life.

      Ho hum. I suppose so. In a globalised world. (Not that I’m against)

      Meet me half way, Martin. Let’s discuss the ‘C’ word – and its connotation.

      (Lefties ban half of the conversation to win the argument.)

    • PJS
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Rishi Sunak warns: ‘I cannot save every business, I cannot save every job’

      But he is closing every business, losing every job.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        And the rest of the govt can’t even be bothered to save the country from invasion – even rewarding those who hate us – but still are desperate to come here, live here off our taxes and scream we should all be slaughtered.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


      I agree with points 1 (though bosses should be bosses & owners) and 2 (there should be a proper debate).

      I will repeat my position that fiscal UBI is neither right nor left wing but ameliorates many problems. It allows many needs based benefits and regulations to be removed and increases mobility (whooppee on the right), given a sufficiently high level and funded primarily by a progressive consumption tax it increases (with some redistribution) total social welfare (whooppee on the left, whooppee for the greens). There are problems of transients in implementation but we have seen how much printing and debt Sunak had available, so a seriously missed opportunity. And repeating my other position, monetary UBI (a Douglas social dividend even if Keynes didn’t grasp it) is a fairer monetary tool than interest rates to bridge the in period gap between supply and income.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        And @caterpillar I repeat my position that if UBI is truly universal then all it will do is lift prices by the amount of the income and if it is not universal then it is just a benefit dressed up in a fancy name.

    • DOM
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      The private sector IS THE TAXPAYER. I despair

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Its people are a large proportion of the total taxpayers, yes.

        But look up what “sector” means.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        I think MiC is referring to the general taxpayer, but specific firms/sectors within the private sector i.e. ‘we’ are all underwriting the risk of a few.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      The taxpayer is picking up the losses of the private sector! And what is the public sector doing? Nothing! Just taking their full salary and pension contributions as usual. No worries for them at all!

      I wonder if you realise that if the private sector goes to the wall, there won’t be a public sector at all. Everything starts with the private sector and the public sector has a cushy old time living off our efforts.

    • dixie
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      @MiC – If I were to adopt the same crass, over-simplified, stereotypical observation as you I would point out that public sector chiefs and employees get the best of it in good times and bad, they are shielded from the worst.

      But I won’t stoop to your level and instead point out that while the virus might be an act of god the lock-down is not, it is solely the action of the government which is causing the destruction of once viable businesses and employment.

      Why am I paying the same level of council and national taxes when services and facilities have been withdrawn yet the public employees are still on full pay?

  2. glen cullen
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Solution 1

    Repeal lockdown in its entirety

    Open all business and get people back to work

    Cancel Employer NI payments for 6 months

    If employee is tested with covid-19 provide statutory sick payment for 2 weeks plus employment return guarantee

    Only ever test anybody for covid-19 if they have the symptoms

    Start today

    Solution 2

    Stick with what our government presented today

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Solution 2 = full lockdown followed by economic ruin

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink


    • Fred H
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure millions would appreciate a refund of the part of NI contributions that pays the NHS £140bn a year for services at GP practices that no longer exist.

      I ‘d like a refund of Council Tax spent on no Libraries this first half of the year, and for the road narrowing and signage measures taken without any consent, also the ‘working at home’ or simply not working staff.
      Our Borough has spent £120k on ordering private services to test their staff for Covid from October. Is that a political judgement on acceptability of Government promises to do the same? Sir John would you comment, please?

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink


      • Fred H
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        YEP – – the previous weekend we encountered the ‘scaffold poles’ restricting to single lane in many parts of SE London towards Kent. We had to join others in helping Police, Ambulances and Paramedics – blue lights flashing, sirens wailing coming up in the line of traffic or coming towards us. Basically we all had to find a long enough gap to ease over to allow them to pass, or worse case we saw a right-turn car at front had to almost force opposite line to stop. What happens when a large Fire Engine tries to get through?

    • RichardP
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Solution 1 is the ONLY solution, preferably under new management.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      It seems students in Scotland are going to be imprisoned by law in their often tiny university rooms or households and not even allowed to go home. Up to about £25,000 or so in fees and rents for this “service” – at least a normal is provided prison is free.

      Most getting a rather worthless degrees for their £75,000 too. Most would be far better off getting a jobs and studying part time as appropriate. Or deferring entry until next year at least.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        No sympathy for the students. They were told to behave – and didn’t. But it must be difficult being an 18-year old right now – and having to choose between dodgy HE, a ‘gap year’ to nowhere, or competing for a job.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          Well clearly the government wanted lots of them to get infected as why else would they have opened up the universities (and thus innoculated) as this was the inevitable result or opening up the universities. This when nearly all of them could easily have worked at home just as effectively.

          Why then given this are they forced to isolate in their rooms when tested positive. Either the government wants them to get infected and thus become immune or they do not. They need to make up their minds I assume the former but they dare not admit it!

        • Hope
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          LL, Scottish students do not pay tuition fees. You ask why they like Sturgeon, it is because she gives away our money to her citizens at a higher rate per head than the U.K. Govt. No one to speak for England, we do not have a parliament let alone first minister!

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      +++ Solution 1

  3. Iain Gill
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Well what a disgrace the chancellor is. The big picture being a massive transfer of wealth from freelancers to permanent employees, and from private sector workers to public sector workers (& long term unemployed), massive wealth redistribution as undeclared social engineering as we know the chancellor does not like freelancers (as demonstrated by IR35, and his lack of understanding of those issues too).
    Freelancers regularly swap between different umbrella companies, and between umbrella and personal service companies, or even between short term PAYE employment direct with employers and back to umbrella or personal service company. Often with large gaps between engagements. Any of these styles of working are getting completely no help whatsoever, just spend your savings until you qualify for universal credit, leaving your kids in poverty, no swimming lessons for them and all the rest of it.
    While at the same time perm staff are being bailed out massively regardless of their savings (many far richer than average freelancers), many public sector workers are on full pay sat at home doing nothing, and the long term unemployed have had financial increases.
    Conservatives seem to hate micro-biz, hate freelancers, hate entrepreneurs, hate people with the balls to take a chance. They love the public sector, they love mega-corporations and they love the drones who work for them, farmed for tax.
    Freelancers are just being left to spend their savings until they qualify for universal credit, many suicides will come from this. Conservatives and civil service (and big consultancies and CBI advising them) clearly don’t understand how freelancing really works.
    In the same way that the Conservatives have helped the big outsourcers flood the country with cheap foreign labour to undercut and displace freelancers (and perm staff) this is not looking pretty. The freelancer message boards are alive with disgust.
    This is no small matter as freelancers are core Conservative vote, and are being left to starve, this is not going to end well for the Conservative party.
    Freelancers are a massive % of Conservatives core vote, to display yet again how comprehensively Conservatives don’t understand freelancing and completely unfair lack of help compared to other parts of the workforce is a massive mistake.
    The political class, and especially the Conservatives in parliament, are really in trouble now. Who exactly are they expecting to ever vote for them again? As our friends are made into the new underclass forced to live on universal credit having been the most productive part of the economy… its not going to end well for the Conservative party.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      I know what you mean this conservative government are indeed the new labour party

      • Fred H
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        instead of strikes we have lockdown or unemployment.
        Common factor? Not working.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. A transfer from the efficient & productive sector to the largely parasitic government sector in the main (nearly all “working” from home on full pay and pensions). We see this too with the pension apartheid.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

      “. . . massive wealth redistribution . . .”

      This is what Alexander Johnson MP means when he says, “Leveling up ”

      From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs. Pure naked Socialism.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, Iain, I think it was very telling that Rishi had a representative from the Unions, a representative from the CBI representing big business interests on tv but no one from the Chambers of Commerce or the biggest Small Private Business spokes-groups such as the FPB/FSB.

      I’d never heard of umbrella companies and the only people I thought had personal service companies were people like bbc tv presenters and footballers. If you have a psc don’t you pay yourself a monthly wage from it and thus you’d have a tax return?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        a lot of freelancers worked for multiple umbrellas and a little for their own personal service company over the last few years, most people in that situation are going little or no help.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          having posted a tax return is no help at all…

  4. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    For all my shitty comments someone needs to take Boris out for a good drink and a man hug.

    He really has copped the most god awful gig.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and get him to promise to ignore his greenish wife and cull all the climate alarmist lunacy & subsidies. Plus get back to an agenda of small government, freedom and choice. He can still be an excellent PM perhaps the best since Churchill if he start to deliver this. What is holding him back?

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        I can think of another formerly popular chap in exactly the same situation and I’ve been there myself.

        It’s not easy.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Maybe the thought of hundreds of thousands of dead, if he messes up really badly?

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          And that can happen either way.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          If hundreds of thousands die, tough. The alternative is mass unemployment, widespread poverty and, possibly, social unrest. That’s rioting and looting.

          If you are fat or old, isolate. If you’re fat and young, shape up.

          • Cheshire Girl
            Posted September 25, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

            Mike Wilson.

            Your first sentence is disgusting! One must hope it doesn’t happen to a member of your family.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      If he really cannot cope with the enormity of the train of events his Government has set off – then RESIGN!

  5. Everhopeful
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Scotland not very happy about budget cancellation.
    Demanding more devolved powers to set own budget.
    Another step towards Union break up?

    Horrible name Winter Economy Plan..rather like Winterval..yuk!

    • Fred H
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Winter Wonderland?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes! “Alice in” maybe?
        We are very far down the rabbit hole.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      Or worst still, The Five Year Plan 😉

  6. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, I suppose someone is trying to be inventive – He gets marks for trying at least.

    Government CV advisors please take note and stop making the chancellor’s job impossible — You need to think even further outside the box.

    It would truly cheer the country up if the chancellor announced a tax revolution — but that’s asking too much I guess

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Lower & far simpler taxes, cheap on demand energy, halve the size of the state, cull all the green crap subsidies and all those worthless degrees (about 75% of them) that people get into large debts for and a huge bonfire of red tape, abolition of HS2 – it is obvious exactly what is needed but no sign of delivery.

      Policies to kill parasitic jobs and grow some real jobs.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        That would really help, for a start …

        I want a total rewrite of the confounded tax bible — it couldn’t get more confusing and incomprehensible… It doesn’t need to be done all in one go – but FGS let’s make a start

        Change PAYE to a company tax and do away with 50,000 non-productive jobs…!

        Remove VAT from basic items so that we end up paying out less benefits

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          and a corporate sales tax – nigel lawson

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          Unify NI employers and employees with income tax. Why have three income taxes? The only reason is to disguise the real size of income tax. The three together can be over 60% even at fairly low income.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 25, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            NI comes in at a sooner level £9500, tax comes in at £12500, I actually agree with people paying in for their GP service, their National Health service, their state pension and their potential job seekers allowance, from the NI contributions from £9500. In fact the way everyone worships it, it should be on every £1 earned at a reduced %.

          • Fred H
            Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            a-tracy…..what GP service? What is left of the NHS service? Look how £billions are being wasted by this Government – listed on here time and time again.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Alas Boris came out with even more green crap today in his speech. Can we put Lord Peter Lilley and Matt Ridley in charge of it please.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink


          More unelected executives is what you mean.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            We the voters.
            I think you really knew what was meant.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing the government’s Winter Economy Plan.

        ‘I cannot save every business. I cannot save every job. No Chancellor could.’

        Indeed – but you could easily generate far more real jobs than are lost by my simple suggestions above!

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    All fairly welcome stuff but we really do need to protect the vulnerable and just get back to normal now. The sooner the economy adjust to the new normal the better for all. The new measures and the six months warning is absurd and very damaging. At the end of the day it will be the solid businesses that will be repaying all this debt in repayments and extra taxation and also the debt of the duff businesses that go bust and fail to repay their loans.

    No budget from Sunak either perhaps as well – his last one was a massive attack on entrepreneurs relief, and no reforms for the self employed, pension pots, landlords, tenants, jobs, house buyers and the private sector in general. He could usefully undo nearly all that he did. His temporary stamp duty cut was welcome buy why temporary and so limited.

    Universities going back for freshers weeks and we already have 124+ infections just at Glasgow University all rather predictable. It seems therefore that government has decided it is better to go for herd immunity for students at universities in this way (perhaps the right way to go for the young). But if so why lock the infectious the down? Surely if they are going for herd immunity they surely want them to spread thus giving young people free vaccinations. But perhaps they do not know what their policy is?

    If they are not going for this then why are the student going back when most could easily study from home at far lower risk?

  8. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Full 2 week lockdown coming October 11th that’s why wee krankie introduced it to get one up on Boris.
    Ruled by idiots.

    • acorn
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Voted in by morons

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      What on earth do the Scots see in wee krankie and her dire National Socialist Party of Scotland? Ian Blackford is almost worse still.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        He has a certain gravitas. Probably caused by his gut.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        English money ! They experts at getting more money and power out of the UK Government thanks to English taxpayers.

    • MarkLeigh
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      no full lockdown in Scotland….fake news

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Ian you keep quoting 11th . Do you have good reason?

  9. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    If a job needs government subsidy then it is not ‘viable’.

    We are not getting real about how we are dealing with this crisis. Yet more PPE baloney.

    We are told that shielding and isolating the vulnerable is not feasible but nor is this.

    It could well be the case that we have to endure another 18 months of duck-and-cover (possibly more going by the historic lengths of pandemics) and to get out of it we have to administer a rushed vaccine into healthy bodies that don’t need it.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      So if you don’t need a subsidy you can have one
      But if you do need a subsidy you can’t have one
      Catch 22

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      If renewables need subsidy, if the NHS needs subsidy, if schools need subsidy ….. Then they are only viable with unfair subsidy and this kills real all competition.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Let’s scrap the military then.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Every job in the public sector needs government money. Some of those jobs are essential but are they viable?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 12:54 am | Permalink

        A few are essential but most are parasitic, pointless, better done privately or are actively damaging.

  10. acorn
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    This is the first time this century the Treasury has had to use the Magic Money Tree to bail out the Household Sector of the economy. Not only do the numbers look big, they are also fairly public. Unlike when the Tree had to bail out the Banking sector back in 2008, amounts which would make your hair curl but are never talked about.

    It’s looking like the C19 bailout will require about £400 billion to be created by the Tree (budget deficit) for this fiscal year; that is grants and loan guarantees etc. That is about one fifth of what was eventually created by the Tree, to bail-out the Banking Sector in 2008/10.

    Worry not, the Tree (The Treasury National Loans Fund), will eventually get all its created money back via taxation and similar. It can wait till the end of time to get it back. You are not going to pay it all back in your lifetime; your children are not going to pay it back in theirs; neither are your grandchildren.

    What Rishi is doing is straight out of the MMT playbook. MMT is simply a fiat currency accounting system that allows an economy to maximise the use of its natural and human resources. It is not “socialist money printing”. It applies regardless of political ideology.

    To cut a long story short. (1) The “national debt” you obsess about, equates to the penny, the national savings in the private sector of the economy. (2) The Treasury does not have to “borrow” its own sovereign monopoly fiat currency from anybody. (3) It does not have to issue Treasury savings bonds (Gilts and Treasuries) to finance its spending; it could stop issuing Gilts to match its spending tomorrow. (4) Taxation does not finance government spending either. The Treasury spends its created money long before it gets any of it back in taxation.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Could you elaborate? I have to admit I don’t understand much of what you said.

      • acorn
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        Mike, my references to MMT on this site usually don’t get past moderation, but here goes; Google this: “MODERN MONEY
        A much better economy is within our reach.”

        Darwinian market capitalists, mostly the ones with little or no capital and the majority of their income coming from the DWP, always claim that this is Marxist money printing, causing hyperinflation. It doesn’t, ask the Japanese, they have been trying to get some inflation for two decades and have accidentally proven and advanced MMT thinking on inflation control. But that’s another story.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      W.r.t. Paragraph 4, Sunak is not maximising the use of human resources, if he were then human resources would not be being paid to not produce, the resources would be directed to a state produced good – collecting all the flytipping, removing leaves blocking drains, planting trees, road repairs, catch up kids tuition, rotating staff in care homes, patrolling coastline, increased stop and search, extra cleaning of public buildings, harvesting crops, (retraining) …

      It is true that the MMT playbook (often) has a very odd view of Govt as employer of last resort i.e. maximise employment/work as the only valid route to circulate income. {It also has an odd term ‘net savings’ i.e. savings minus investment which
      which equates to Government deficit, but MMTers don’t call it S-I because that would make it clear that the private sector could carry on very well without the G-T, it seems to be a wool over eyes trick}

      An alternative is the early 20th century social credit argument that pays a social dividend equitably to each citizen if the amount produced in a given period is greater than the associated income in that period (i.e. not filling the gap by personal debt), but it is very specific to that situation and the amount would change accordingly. It is not aimed at maximizing a life of work but maximizing quality of life as people choose.

      Sunak is not doing either of the above. He is providing income to create demand without enabling domestic supply. If the demand is met by importing supply then it cannot continue forever as the currency would eventually depreciate and in the worst case there would be no market for it (in the limit he and the BoE would be valuing the currency at zero, the GBP is not the global reserve currency). He is not only not creating supply he is hampering future supply. He has, since furlough began, funded labour to be immobile, he is doing this again. If you have a job by 23rd September and your employer wants you for 1/3 time you might be able to stay in it with 7/9ths your pay, but if not on the payroll by 23rd this is not the case so high risk to change jobs, high risk to employ someone else. Even ignoring its inequity, Sunak’s is economically a dire option. (The only defence of Sunak’s approach was for the original 3 week lock down, it was implementable during a short shock before returning to the original economic structure).

      Another option would have been UBI replacing many existing benefits and funded by progressive consumption tax (in the transient it might be income tax to implement and a monetary component to smooth). In this case all citizens are treated equitably (the same amount whether inactive, unemployed, employed, self-employed), they can all take the Govt part of their pay with them i.e. reducing individual risk to allow the economy to adjust, firms could fire and hire to get to a similar status (part paid by Govt, part by firm) but both individual and companies have more choice – hence the economy adjust more quickly (funding mobility rather than immobility).

      Before today Sunak had been inequitable, locked-in immobility, declined tax revenues in order to stimulate a housing market that didn’t need (powder he ought to have kept dry) and paid people to mingle and over eat. His package today shows no ethical or economic improvement.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      It will end in inflationary disaster.
      As it always has.

      It is like a thirsty shipwrecked sailor drinking sea water to survive.
      Sooner or later.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        And those who are rich in anything but real property will become poor.

        And the problem with that is? Ask the core of the British Establishment.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          It is the poor who get the worst effect of inflation.
          You cant live day to day by spending your assets.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Inflation is stoked by excess funding and demand (see housing)

        Covid has damped down much demand so we can print the funds now to spend. When demand returns the money needs to be gradually removed again.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          It is true that inflation is low even after the 2008 bailout.
          But even a low single figure inflation over a decade reduces your wealth by 20% or more if you hold cash savings.
          And world currency markets realise what is happening and mark down the pound which in turn can create inflation.
          Care is needed.

  11. Ginty
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    So far so good … except… um…

    This is – like – the most socialist government I’ve every experienced ?

    Foisted upon us by a Communist government that we’re not allowed to talk about ???

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink


  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    So fine, that’s what he’s doing for the next six months – what’s he doing for the six months after that, and after that, and after that ? Their policy is permanent suppression until a vaccine is available so why only six months ?

    By the way, have they asked the behaviouralists how many people will actually agree to have the rushed-through vaccine when it arrives ? Just the high risk group I expect, so that won’t end it either.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      When they get the quick fix vaccine they will say that Covid mutates on a yearly basis which will mean annual enforced jabs.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      EU Summit Sept 2019 Vaccinations for all on earth compulsory
      this pdf has already been posted on here why don’t people wake up?

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    No point in repeating my opinion of Sunak’s policies so I’ll just ask a question, in the penultimate sentence how is one to interpret ” already worth £190 billion”.

  14. Fred H
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Hancock assists Apple sell their mobiles – – I kid you not.
    Perhaps the Government might like to pay?

    The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has told BBC Breakfast that people may need to “upgrade” their phones in order to access the government’s new NHS Covid-19 app.
    It follows criticism after some people with iPhone 6 and older versions of Apple’s handsets said they couldn’t download it.
    The contact-tracing app instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were nearby someone who has the virus.

  15. Steven
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Here we go, crater the economy for absolutely no valid reason, claim credit for awful bailouts that will be just as devastating in the long run and expect that nobody has the wit to put two and two together. Government and big media is entirely and completely responsible for every death by lack of treatment or suicide, every job lost, every business closed and every child without education. Every single MP should be thown out and banned from public office forever. Lets see if they can survive on bailouts and benefits.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink


  16. turboterrier
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    To be honest John do this government give you hope or inspiration? To date all our problems we have the PM coming out with his super green plan which in reality as always is wide ranging and a desperate attempt to keep all the plates in the air to try and please everybody. When we see the big polluters of the world implementing such draconian policies then maybe we should fall in line. As usual no mention how it will be paid for and by whom. When the ship is sinking concentrate all your efforts on what is causing the most damage. Climate change is the least of our worries at the moment.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree Turbo. Does this government not realise that people have more to worry about abd finance than climate change? You are all so out of touch with the average man on the street. Keeping the family fed and a roof over heads is all people can cope with right now. Some people will lose everything they have worked for for years. The last thing they want stuffed down their throats is climate change. Please tell ministers to get real.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 4:53 am | Permalink

      Climate Change is an excuse, much like this virus, for the government to do as it and its backers want and not as they promised the electorate.

  17. jerry
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I get a sense of Déjà vu, it feels like 1980 all over again, many otherwise viable businesses and people are having the rug pulled from beneath them through no fault of their own. Businesses and people needed “A New Deal”, not the failed, reheated, economics omni-shambles from 40 years ago…

    Will the employee have to claim this job support top-up scheme or will employer, how will it be paid by HMT, direct to the employee or to the employer, if the latter what checks will be in place to stop a rouge employer from expecting a full days work from their workforce whilst only paying for 1/3rd of it themselves, will checks be made on turnover vs. the number of people on the payroll, if the company really is only working at 1/3rd capacity surely turnover will be 1/3rd?

    • jerry
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      OT; The new T&T mobile app, what a (very poor) joke, typical of products from those who work(ed) in the IT or mobile telecoms industry who think the world revolves around having such a device glue to ones ear or at least palm.

      Will this app stop me catching Covid-19, no. Will it tell me that I have been exposed to the virus, no, although it will tell me my phone has, the two the not the same! I could have been elsewhere, my phone in my jacket on the back of my desk chair, in a locker, at a gate-house, in my car, whilst I was elsewhere (perhaps in a meeting or location where phones are not allowed); will this app tell me that someone in that meeting or location has suspected Covid-19 – or that I might have infected others.

      This app is dangerous, “my phone says I’m not infectious”, it’s Friday night and I’m off to the pub/restaurant…

      • steve
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        “it’s Friday night and I’m off to the pub”

        It’ll serve you right if you get CV19.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          and that sums up the attitude of the spreaders. Meanwhile life is getting pretty unbearable for those locked in, unemployed, missing grandchildren for months, suspect their cancer is becoming terminal….

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          So, live in your room then? No, thanks. I’m 68 and I’ll take MY chances.

  18. glen cullen
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Guess there was a ‘magic money tree’ after all! Who would have thought that a Conservative government ( a Conservative government!) would have taken the country so far towards economic ruin and taken away our liberty because of an obsession over a virus and in the process caused premature deaths from other illnesses, stored up more premature deaths because of lack of treatment and diagnosis, increased mental illness and suicides and put back children’s education? What an outrageous record.
    The perpetrators deserve nothing less than lengthy incarceration in prison.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      We’ve got tonnes of money – we’re buying HS2, Trident, Migrant Hotels and still sending millions to dictators in the form of Foreign Aid (and the EU)……A few hundred billion on covid is nothing

      • Fred H
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        This Government will later be known as ‘Deep Pockets’.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 4:50 am | Permalink

      At the risk of sounding uncaring, which I am not, you have to consider that all those that are sick and elderly are a drain on public services and money. So what better way to solve a long-term and growing problem 😉

      • graham1946
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        That does sound rather Andy-ish. The sick and old may be a drain on current resources, but they have paid their whack in advance and deserve the best we can offer. The government is responsible for the way it wastes money and has no appetite to stem the billions spent on illegal immigration for instance, people who have never and probably will never pay a penny.

  20. ukretired123
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    “Things ain’t what they used to be!” that’s for sure and no one knows how it will end is an understatement .
    It’s high time politicians of all parties work in the national interest and the way the EU is behaving with Brexit playing politics instead of a genuine good faith win-win deal is just unbelievable. Loss of face will happen in Brussels come what may. All this should have been settled by now in order to focus on tackling Covid instead.

  21. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Well I didn’t get any furlough for loss of income even though I was entitled to it. My employer doesn’t like charity!

    There could be a lot of positive things to arise out of covid providing we are sensible and keep infection rates down to a minimum , although many schools now have covid cases and long term effects are not fully known.

    I am spending many hours alone need need to fill my time with anything but more information about my career. I need to escape from a life times servitude. I enjoy learning and feel that if information and learning is provided on line in a friendly way then many adults could benefit from a second , third or fourth chance of becoming confident with information and how to use it. I believe the older generation as a lot to offer intellectually as they can match experience, past learning and compare the new. The young tend to be a little arrogant in respect of past knowledge gained.

    I was talking to a cardiologist about enzymes and cardiac specific markers in analysis. As a 21 year old I went straight into Coronary Care and managed a unit when on shift by myself. There were many markers we had to balance and look at half life in relation to damage and repair of the heart muscle . I have moved on with everyone else to using markers on the troponin linkage Trop T and Trop I and have done for many years , however when I mentioned old markers the cardiologist brushed off past knowledge and condescended saying ,” We have moved on now” Nothing from the past must be disregarded and could be useful for completing new pictures in the future.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Loss of income? Are you a GP protected by NHS contract?
      If you had no income you would have got furlough?
      I don’t follow what your complaint is.

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t have any income during my isolation . GPs employ others .The NHS does not pay for ANP’s” nor do I have a pension from 18 years work in general practice ,We work for the NHS but unlike administration and office workers in CCG;s we don’t get NHS contracts!
        I understand what you are saying , however that is not what happened despite letters to appeal.
        The public don’t know the half of it

  22. Fred H
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Job Support Scheme – – little benefit.
    A worked example.
    Worker paid £10 per hour for 36 hour week.

    Job reduces to 15 hours per week.
    Employer previously paid Worker £360 + Emp NI.
    Now pays £150 and 7 hours @£10 = £220 +NI

    Gov’t pays 7 hours @£10 =£70 less NI previously paid.
    Worker loses 7 hours @£10 =£70 .

    Employer pays much more per hour for the 15 Worked.
    Worker made redundant?

  23. steve
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Most of what I read here is ‘me, me, me’.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Tha is what it is millions of me’s . The big’ I ‘rules

  24. Iain Gill
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    meanwhile Hunterston nuclear power station has been given permission to restart with massive cracks in the reactor vessel. if you think the economy is in trouble now… wait until Scotland is a wasteland of nuclear contamination.

    our public sector, the regulators here, really are crap. why are the politicians allowing this to happen? has this been across a ministers desk? which one?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      That station came very close to a Fukushima-level disaster in 1998, but not owing to the graphite cracks.

      Fortunately decommissioning is to start in January 2022 at the latest.

  25. gyges
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    For the second time,

    If I test positive for covid19, what’s the chance that I have it?
    If the test comes back negative, what’s the chance that I have it?

    People are being subjected to this test and you don’t appear to know the answer …

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    A bit of a rebellion in Parliament. 42 MPs supporting and growing.
    Demanding a proper vote on all this imprisoning stuff.
    JR has not deserted us!!
    More power to their elbow!!
    Fantastic Forty Two ..and hopefully more.

    Reply. Yes am working with Graham Brady on more Parliamentary control over CV 19 response

  27. DrPeterVC
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Where is the government plan to train hundreds of sniffer dogs (see Helsinki airport)? With the dogs we can then get the economy back up much quicker than waiting for a vaccine or much better treatment.

    This whole scenario has the feel of Heath and the 3 day week. I even reran a YouTube of one of his old TV addresses to the nation promising us “the worst Christmas since the war” – deja vu indeed (for those of us old enough to remember).

  28. XYXY
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    The JRS was a joke. The “legislation”, such as it was, simply gives the Treasury and HMRC the power to do whatever they want.

    They have decided to implement draconian measures to exclude companies who did not put a RTI submission in until the end of the 2019-20 tax year, even if they have been submitting annually for many years.

    If this legislation is the same it will be another thing so full of holes that many people will fall through the cracks and have nothing to live on and no way to provide for their future, let alone “now”. Meanwhile, the economy will suffer.

    Please get them to end this lock-down nonsense now?

  29. agricola
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    To predict the adequacy of these gestures is almost impossible. Their benefit is going to be on a busines by business basis. All I can say is the Chancellor is trying to respond to need, reflecting on effect and making ongoing adjustments. He is trying to be helpful. Time will judge.

    I do think that elements of the hospitality indudtry, pubs, restaurants and airlines plus of course their customers are now sufficiently experienced to partake of a larger level of activity. Particularly if the check and trace system is used as a health practique. Without such I predict a lot of it going to the wall in the next six months.

    I also support the isolation of students at their place of learning during holiday periods if infection rates indicate a need. If only to protect the more vulnersble in society.

    Those in care must be ring fenced from danger. The danger of inadequate equipment and contact with potential carriers.

    Beyond this we must live in hope of a safe but effective vaccine.

  • 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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