A coiled spring?

The Bank of England Chief Economist has chosen a metaphor to reassure us about the economic future. I never mind a bit of optimism but I trust it will  not  deter policy makers from offering more assistance to the economy. He argues that because many people who have kept their jobs and decent earnings have been saving over the last year they will soon rush out and spend their savings once lockdowns are eased. The economy is  a coiled spring, about to spring into life as soon as the controls are eased. I daresay there is some pent up demand for leisure and hospitality when the all clear is sounded.

The figures do indeed show that overall savings are up, but that conceals big differences in  experiences of people,  There are people like the Bank’s senior employees on good salaries that have continued to be paid in full  during lockdown who have  saved. They have been unable to spend money on foreign holidays, trips to cultural and sporting events and good meals out in restaurants in the way they used to. They have probably  allowed some cash to build in their accounts. There are also people who have lost their job and seen their income fall as they go onto benefit. There are people who are furloughed or working only some of the time given the lockdown restrictions whose income has been impaired. Many in hospitality and entertainment and many self employed and small  businesses have suffered financially. It is most important they are offered continuing assistance until lockdowns have ended and they are able to earn their  full living again. Families have had to spend more on utilities, food and other essentials at home as they and their families work and learn at home which means many have not been able to save.

I expect when they are able to people on decent incomes who have saved a bit will want to book a meal out or s staycation at a hotel. They will want to book events again as soon as that is allowed. The problem for the hospitality and leisure industries is they will not get back the lost cash from cancelled business over the last year. When you return to a favoured local cafe you do  not buy two lunches for yourself, you just  buy the one now, not the one that was cancelled  by  lockdown. If you decide this year you can celebrate your birthday at a local restaurant, you do not pay for the celebration last year they had to cancel. Some hotels and entertainment venues  have been holding cash from customers who missed out on their previous bookings. They will have to supply service with  no new cash from such customers. There could be a bonus for the UK if overseas travel is still restricted or problematic in that more people may take a holiday in the UK, though there will be in all probability be a  continuing loss of foreign visitors.

So I agree there will be a recovery, and there are opportunities out there were resilient businesses. I think the authorities should also remember this has been a tough time for many self employed and small business people. it does not all snap back quickly when controls are eased. I want to see a budget for recovery, jobs and the self employed. We need their flexibility, and some of them have not been treated well over the lockdowns.


  1. Mark B
    February 19, 2021

    Good morning.

    I think it is fair to say that, there are those that have, and there are those that have not. Those that have will spend according to their needs and, those that do not clearly won’t. The question is, in what proportions are they ?

    I am still in the market for a new car but, cannot get a test drive on any of the model’s I am interested in. The government has stalled the economy and blighted many lives. How much damage this has done will only become apparent once we get back to normal. Furlough is the can that keeps getting kicked along with all the reasons not to set us free.

    People were asked to, “Save Our NHS !”. But it is time for those in the Public Sector to save the Private Sector. Will they ? Well I am not holding my breath.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 19, 2021

      I shall stick with my two old cars Volvo V70 and convertible golf about 30+ years old combined. Both running fine, range up to 600 miles, refill in two mins, very little depreciation left and far greener than getting a new one manufactured. Cheaper on two new ones by over £20K PA. I can fund a decent house for my son for that sum PA.

    2. Alan Jutson
      February 19, 2021

      Mark B

      I am likewise in the market for another vehicle, probably one about 2 years old, but the chaos of government policy over fuel, means I really do not fancy spending a significant amount of money on something which may be either banned from Town Centres or be almost worthless in a few years time, because at the moment an electric car with its restricted range is of no use to me at all.
      Thus I will keep my 20 year old 4×4 going whilst it is still passes the MOT and is economical to repair, until things become rather more settled.

      1. Hope
        February 20, 2021

        Alan, not a few years. Nutters are here already. Bristol the latest to charge vehicles for entering city.

    3. Hope
      February 19, 2021


      JR, has highlighted several historical policy failings by his govt. For ten years Fake tories promised economic plank as its central policy and for ten years, yes ten years failed to deliver, failed to balance the structural deficit, abandoned after three elections! Highest borrowing and highest debt, highest taxation!

      Fake Tories have deliberately destroyed industry like Tata steel, coal production to dairy farming, currently doing the same to be in lock step with EU even though we left. Energy central to industrial success, govt deliberately destroying it as we read yesterday.

      1in5 firms say they will make furloughed staff redundant. There is no justification for this lock down times three, read articles in con woman yesterday and day before with proper reliable statistics. Compare all US states those locked down those not. Lock downs do not work nor can it be proved they do. Interestingly govt cannot make up its current mind which lie to peddle, rates dropping because of lock down or vaccines! Zaharia two days ago claimed on national TV it is not known if vaccines prevent transmission, so why the talk of introducing passports!

    4. Roy Grainger
      February 19, 2021

      I needed a new car too due to London’s new “green” policy to ban old diesel cars next year. But given Carrie’s policy of phasing out pertrol/diesel/hybrid cars entirely by 2030 I just bought a cheap second hand petrol car which is good enough to meet the new London regulations. No possibility of buying an electric car as there are not enough charging stations anywhere near me. So, no support at all for the UK car industry from me, which seems to be what the government want ?

      1. Lifelogic
        February 19, 2021


    5. jerry
      February 19, 2021

      @Mark B; [my emphasis] “Those that have will spend according to their needs and, those that do not clearly won’t.”

      Needs or wants, the two are not the same, for example much of hospitality, culture and sport require the latter, a home furnishings shop, garage or builder the former, and it is only they who can plan in any certainty for when restrictions are lifted. After 40 odd years of being extolled to save how many of the ‘haves’ are looking at their bank balances and now realising just how much going to the pub, attending sporting event, taking long haul holidays etc. were costing. Money that might be better saved, to build/buy a bigger house, realise their dream of starting their own business, or perhaps help their children with the down payment on their own mortgages eventually.

      We might never get back to what you take as normal, and so, like they always do, the private entrepreneur will adapt, my fear is for the Public Sector (that most of the have-nots rely on) should those who share your views keep/gain control of the Treasury.

      There was no going back to normal after WW2, society had been irrevocably changed, I suspect the same has happened again, the spirit of ’45 might be more alive now than it was back then – our politicos need to take heed, fortunately for Boris, due to the anti Brexit sentiment in the last parliament, he will not now be facing a GE by June 2022, unless he chooses…

    6. Robert McDonald
      February 19, 2021

      The public sector already believe they are saving the private sector, by doing jobs that the community does need but without offering much choice or opportunity to feed back dissatisfaction. Unfortunately they have our arms behind our backs when we have to use them. Education, told what to do by the teacher unions no realistic choice for many of us; NHS, no choice but to take what is given. Respect for the response of many, not all, NHS staff to this crisis, but other national health systems have performed better using a different funding model… offering choice.

    7. Ian Wragg
      February 19, 2021

      There are two classes of workers, pu lic sector who are happy for lockdown to continue indefinitely and the private tax paying sector without which there will be no nhs to save and no useless mayors to pay.
      I think it will be a dead cat bounce if Sunk raises taxes.

    8. Iain Gill
      February 19, 2021

      well done you got a reply in before lifelogic, he must be slipping

    9. MiC
      February 19, 2021

      We can only imagine what the Tories and their media would say, if a Labour government had embarked on the same borrowing levels as John’s party have.

    10. Ed M
      February 19, 2021

      You’re right: the NHS depends indirectly on the Private Sector.

      Money to pay for the NHS doesn’t grow on trees. It comes ultimately from a healthy economy. The Heresy of Socialism refuses to accept this.

      1. Fred.H
        February 20, 2021

        all Government spending does !

        1. Ed M
          February 21, 2021

          I agree. Socialism is ultimately a Heresy.

  2. Lifelogic
    February 19, 2021

    It is hard to take the BoE very seriously when it is presided over by the chap who are at the FCA and they under him gave us 40% to 78% personal overdraft rates for all. This when these same banks are paying perhaps 0.1% on deposits 780 times more. These same banks only seem to charge these rip off rates in the UK, overseas customers get treated better. Where is the fair competition. The banks are still very restrictive and expensive on most areas of business and property lending.

    For a good economic recovery we need cheap on demand energy, far, far less government, lower simpler taxes, no net zero lunacy and a bonfire of red tape. Far more people with real and productive jobs and far fewer essentially parasitic jobs. Something government is so good at creating at the expense of productivity and the country’s ability to compete. This allegedly “Conservative” government shows every sign of doing the complete opposite.

    1. agricola
      February 19, 2021

      Lifelogic, I could not agree more. At the moment four of our big banks have the most fatuous, utterly meaningless adverts on TV. One suggests that black horses accompany us in all our activity. Another sets forth on a bike telling us we are not an island. The other two I cannot remember. None of them offer to pay for the money they borrow from us to conduct their usuary activities with people who need to borrow. As gkvernment is their biggest customer do not expect said government to do a thing about it.

    2. Everhopeful
      February 19, 2021

      We need them all to s*d right off.
      Out of what tatters are left of our lives. I could think of a few “destinations”.
      We would all do very well!

    3. Hope
      February 19, 2021

      LL, as you said before Major never apologised for his deliberate self inflicted reckless borrowing for his fanatical EU project that destroyed businesses, jobs and people lost their homes. Here we go again for Johnson’s stupidity of economic self harm. This current destruction of the economy is a Tory govt. choice Not necessity.

      I never thought I would witness this a second time especially as they put party before nation.

      The currentN.Ireland scandal is beyond belief. How could any sane person agree to the terms with an eighty seat majority! If I were in the DUP I would walk from the assembly forcing Johnson’s hand to act. Again, borne from lies by Johnson.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 19, 2021


    4. glen cullen
      February 19, 2021

      Your last sentence says it all – ”this allerged conservative government

      This isn’t the party I’ve known for the last 40 years

    5. Ed M
      February 19, 2021


      Ultimately, all this will have a relatively minimal effect. In the sense that politics isn’t as powerful as you make out.

      We need a radical shift in cultural attitudes, where people depend on themselves and their families more (like people more in general in the past), have more belief in themselves in good sense / have more work ethic (like the Quakers in business), and have more sense of patriotism / public duty (like more people in general in the past). And this takes place chiefly in Education, The Media, The Arts, Religion – which then peters down to families and individuals.

      Then taxes would absolutely tumble.

      1. Fred.H
        February 20, 2021

        ‘sense of patriotism / public duty …. And this takes place chiefly in Education, The Media, The Arts, Religion’ – – what an absolute load of nonsense.

        1. Ed M
          February 20, 2021

          Oh come on, sir, please debate the point!

          Why Education? Because young people are hugely influenced at this tender age into their world view – not by politicians later on in life.

          Why The Media? Because we’re all bombarded by Media everyday. And has far more of influence on people’s lives than than what politicians say.

          Why The Arts? Because the arts cut deeply into what we think and believe. I have huge devotion to Jane Austen but not to any particular politician. Same for most people.

          So what I say is absolutely NOT nonsense.

          Regarding, religion, religion has a profound impact on people who are religious. And this can really impact people around them. But it’s essential that people in religion put espouse traditional virtues such as Family, Patriotism and Work Ethic that so often get supressed by Left Wing / Social Liberal Views.

          Lastly, when politicians think they have more effective power than is really the case, then politics has simply gone to their head, and politics can then become dangerous – for they try and do things without really thinking through the consequences. Bit like the Prospero syndrome in Shakespeare’s Tempest. Politicians need to learn what power they really have and to use what they do have effectively.

          1. Ed M
            February 20, 2021

            ‘Politicians need to learn what power they really have and to use what they do have effectively.’

            – Which means, ultimately, that Conservatism, such as in the tradition of Edmund Burke, must spread across politics into Education, The Media, Education and so on. If it doesn’t, then it’s a narrow form of Conservatism that will only have minimal effect (and / or over-exercising political power with unintended, negative consequences).

            What I say is completely in line with how people thought back in Renaissance times. To separate Politics from the rest of Civilisation (Education, The Arts etc) is a modern, secular heresy that finds its origins most concretely in the French Revolution (and later on with other extreme political events – both from the Left and Right, in Europe and elsewhere).

    6. Hope
      February 19, 2021

      Con woman article by Ewan Stewart highlights EU attack on London and a pathetic lack of response by the govt.

      When will any minister in cabinet stick up for our country.

  3. DOM
    February 19, 2021

    You’re an MP of a party that has betrayed the private sector in all its forms (because you can and we can’t fight back) and embraced Labour’s Socialist, unionised political model (because you can’t and they can fight back) for an easy life with the Socialist press in London dominated by the BBC and the Guardian

    The self-employed have been decimated while the unionised, public sector hordes continue on their merry, unreformed way getting paid more and more until the early retirement arrives on full pension and an appearance on Pointless

    Your party and the way it has moved leftwards to make political life a little easier for yourselves is so beyond vile and cynical that even a hardened, venomous cynic like myself can barely believe it.

    You are captured by the union and activists. Admit this fact so that at the next GE the voter can see what they’re voting for because from where I am standing the Tory party is deceiving its core electorate

    The future of the Tory party is more important that the future of the UK . That is your politics so please let’s stop pretending your party cares one jot for the private sector. One day they’ll wake up and realise what you’ve become

    1. agricola
      February 19, 2021

      DOM there is an escence of truth in what you say. Government have helped while Covid held a gun to their heads. Lets see what happens come the budget.
      I would suggest that it is long overdue that the public sector contributed to the the recovery of the UK by taking a pension holiday for two years. The lack of contributions to their pensions very directly to reduce rates and other specific national taxes. I would exempt the NHS medical staff and military from that one because they make a direct contribution to the nations wellbeing.

    2. Everhopeful
      February 19, 2021


    3. Mike Durrans
      February 19, 2021

      Plus 1

    4. turboterrier
      February 19, 2021


      Exactly. The hard but unacceptable truth is that the private sector is the major contributor to the government’s coffers. Just to turn the triangle around pass legislation that in times of severe crisis every member of the civil and public services pay 5% monthly for six months to fund the recharging of the private sector. Even 2.5 % would raise a reasonable sum. If the private sector is not regenerated then everybody even those on benefit ultimately suffer as the unemployment benefits and others rise.

    5. MWB
      February 19, 2021


    6. a-tracy
      February 19, 2021

      Dom, don’t you think the small business groups are the most responsible, many self-employed and SMEs pay their subscriptions but their campaigns and activity limbs have been cut off and they’ve been hollowed out. The fpb and fsb are a shadow of their former selves. The CBI is a big corporate organisation and I’d like to know how many SME’s actually subscribe to them.

      Why didn’t the government keep the small business representative groups informed on customs paperwork that would be required for Ireland, they don’t even know where you can get customs paperwork cut now. The private sector doesn’t have to keep taking this one way Union pressure without fighting back there is just no-one to support that is prepared to take up the voice.

      Uber workers think they’ve won a big victory today until their personal taxes rise and all the treatments they get favoured with like not paying tax for private use of their company vehicle will all end.

    7. Iain Gill
      February 19, 2021


    8. No Longer Anonymous
      February 19, 2021

      Some of the state pensions I’m hearing of after 30 years of junior rank service would need a pot of £1m in the private sector.

    9. Paul Cuthbertson
      February 19, 2021

      DOM – I could not have said it better.

    10. Dennis
      February 19, 2021

      It seems JR agrees with your post Dom as he hasn’t even said. ‘rubbish’ so you must be spot on.

    11. Fred.H
      February 20, 2021

      Dom – ‘One day they’ll wake up and realise what you’ve become’.
      Really? – – not even a tiny sign of that.
      Those that appear to be Conservatives are rarely heard of, and are certainly trying to swim against a strong tide.

    12. Mark B
      February 21, 2021

      We’re back to the good old days (/sarc) of the 60’s and 70’s.

  4. Lifelogic
    February 19, 2021

    Mr Haldane never seems that impressive to me in interviews but I have not read his books and many articles. He said recently:- “With 13 million of the most vulnerable people already vaccinated, the risk of death or hospitalisation in the UK has already probably halved”.

    But surely if he is numerate he would have noticed that a competent JCVI vaccination priority order could have made this protection about 30% more effective. So not a halved risk of hospitalisation but a 35% risk saving hundreds of lives with the same 13 million shots.

    Why did he not point this out? Aren’t economists not supposed to be numerate and good at statistics, judging risk and probability? At advising on getting the biggest bang for the buck – it seems not.

    1. hefner
      February 19, 2021

      Andrew Haldane talks of a possible 50% reduction in risk of death. LL says it could have been 30% more effective, so that should make 50*(1+0.3) = 65, so a 65% reduction in risk of death. But LL tells us ‘a 35% risk saving hundreds of lives with the same 13 million shots’.

      I understand what he means ‘leaving only a 35% risk of deaths and therefore saving hundreds of lives with the same 13 million shots’. But as Boileau said long ago (1674) in French ‘What is well thought out can be clearly expressed’ (Ce que l’on conçoit bien s’énonce clairement). LL might (well maybe) be good with numbers, but not so great with plain English.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 19, 2021

        For a given number of vaccine shots then adjusting for the different gender risks by age and not vaccinating people who already have antibodies would make the protection offered up to about 30% more effective.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 19, 2021

      VACCINES appear to cut Covid-19 transmissions and infections by two thirds, according to the first “real-world data” examining the impact of the jabs, according to the Daily Telegraph today.

      Had JCVI adjusted for the higher male gender risk (and also by not vaccinating people who already had antibodies) it would have made this 20% + more effective. Certainly saving many hundreds more lives perhaps even over 1000 lives. Why are they so unconcerned about this? Do they have some justification for allowing all these extra deaths? If so what is it?

      Still time to save some of them.

      JCVI have made (and are still making) an appalling death multiple producing error and a very obvious one too. JCVI, Hancock and Zahawi have been told but do not even bother to reply.

  5. agricola
    February 19, 2021

    Whether it be a pint of beer, a visit to ones restaurant of choice or a weekend at a Cotswold hotel, the experience will be comparatively expensive in the UK. I think there will be less a desire to go out and spend money, if they have it, but more a desire to communicate with family and friends. A cup of tea is all that is needed for social contact. For many it will be an opportunity to lift mental anxiety.

    Post my first jab I was issued with a small record card. I think it is more for the benefit of the NHS when arriving for a second jab. Whatever, it is important that an internationally recognised vaccine record card is issued after the second jab so that anxiety can be removed at those favorite destinations for our sunshine holidays and our return to the UK afterwards. The airline and travel industry need it. It would not be excessive for the rejeuvination of the hospitality industry at home either. Talk of civil liberty is nonesense when you take into account the violation of the same occasioned by CCTV, your bank card, and your mobile phone. An enquiry on line for a new set of saucepans generates a bombardment of adverts for the same for weeks afterwards, so what price civil liberties.

    There is a counter prospect that life under Covid has taught us that going out and spending money is an inessential activity. The habit not to might have caught on for a while.

  6. Cheshire Girl
    February 19, 2021

    There have been many reports over the past few years, about the low rate of saving in the UK. It was said that many people had less than £100 in savings, and some had none. I often wondered how these people would fare if they suddenly, without warning, lost their jobs. I think lots of people, who can, will tend to hang on to any money that they have managed to save during the pandemic, and not rush out to spend it. I’m sure there will be more caution this time.

  7. Bob Dixon
    February 19, 2021

    My business has boomed.Happy days.All I need is my local pub reopening and having blockey chat with my chums and a vaccine passport for holidays in France and Spain.

  8. Jim
    February 19, 2021

    Certainly there will be a resurgence as pent up demand uncoils. But how much and for how long? We must remember that a fair number of businesses are on the edge or past the point of no return.

    Your statement Sir John ‘I want to see a budget…’ worries me, and should worry a lot of people, because you are a leading light in the ERG and a strong proponent of the benefits of Brexit. Surely you already have oven ready schemes for Brexit before it was knocked off course by Covid. All you have to do is dust them off and the great advantages and great plans can unfold as they were planned to do.

    Surely you don’t need HM Treasury to turn out yet another half baked ‘budget for recovery’, with your expertise recovery through Brexit must be assured and staring us in the face.

  9. formula57
    February 19, 2021

    As for the argument that many of those who have been saving “… will soon rush out and spend their savings once lockdowns are eased”:

    – habitual savers often enough save more when their returns suffer through low interest rates – and there cannot be much expectation of interest rates rising soon;

    – a spending frenzy may well induce inflation and whilst central bankers seem to welcome such an outcome, the rest of us typically do not.

  10. DOM
    February 19, 2021

    New law required to defend the private sector from Tory pandering to the unionised public sector and Labour’s oppressive client state

    New law required to protect freedom of expression from the fascist left onslaught.

    New law required to criminalise cultural destruction and attack the woke fascists control of language and speech and thought

    You have the majority, pass the laws and confront the fascist left before they destroy all that is good and decent and moral

  11. Sharon
    February 19, 2021

    I am really cross at the devastation caused by these persistent lockdowns. Only yesterday I noticed that the lovely Polish seamstress in our suburban village, who employed two other ladies, has gone! She is a very skilled seamstress, altered wedding dressings etc. It’s heartbreaking to hear of all the businesses hanging on by a thread. Despite government money (or a loan needing repayment) which didn’t cover a lot of the costs so meant living off savings. And then there’s those who got nothing at all!

    Yes, some will bounce back, a lot won’t! And all because we followed a communist lead and shut down society….for a year, a year! It’s heart breaking.

    1. Fred.H
      February 20, 2021

      it is ‘society as we knew it’ breaking.
      And largely to reinforce an archaic public sector monster – a wolf in sheeps clothing, portrayed as next to godliness but managed by an enormous tribe of ‘pigs from Animal Farm’. The NHS.

  12. Caterpillar
    February 19, 2021

    The Chancellor needs to be 100% clear now, not waiting for the budget, on stamp duty. Here is an example where there was both a supply side and demand side coiled spring after last season’s lockdown, but the Chancellor decided to force it to unwind, give up the needed revenue and heat the market. Now there is a period of uncertainty as no one knows what ‘creativity’ this Chancellor will force upon people.

    Following this season’s lockdown, the BoE is right to warn. In some sectors there may well be coiled up demand (though behaviours may have been modified) whilst there may not be coiled up supply, the BoE needs to be ready to act quickly on interest rates if inflation begins to rise. Confidence needs to be given for entrepreneurial not just necessity entrepreneurship by SMEs, but why such businesses should become confident (unless they are personal friends of members of this Govt) is difficult. This Govt delights in using highly dubious models and propaganda to misrepresent diet/climate/viruses for the benefit of big business in certain sectors, and for control. Human rights and agency have been stripped from the many. For the economy to grow, with chances not dependence for all, then removal of this Govt and these distortions need to occur; MPs do not appear to have the decency to do this.

  13. George Brooks.
    February 19, 2021

    A coiled spring may be, but the economy will not SPRING back into life because our release and return to freedom will be slow and ultra cautious. The PM has stated that, and I doubt will waiver, as he had his fingers burnt last year.

    It will be a very gradual return and the government needs to make it easy for businesses to restart with reduced taxes and extended periods for loan repayments. It must encourage increased production right across industry and all aspects of agriculture and food production. Dramatically reduce ‘red tape’ and make this country the very best place in the world to set up a new business.

    Get industry going again and make sure the banks don’t rail-road their customers with ridiculous interest rates and repayment conditions as they have all done very well in the pandemic. Do this and the entertainment industry will revive steadily

    Share out the vaccine round the world and encourage all members of the G20 to do the same so that the airline companies can recover and we can travel again.

    PS Thank heaven Frost has returned to knock some sense into that bunch across the channel.

  14. oldtimer
    February 19, 2021

    The return of inflation does not appear to figure in his outlook. It is already evident in global commodity prices and in our weekly shop. The risk that it will get out of hand is real, not least because of the extraordinary amounts of QE released into the global economy by the USA, the EU, the UK and others. At the moment it has served to boost asset prices (especially traded equities) to absurd levels. One day there will be a reckoning and it will be extremely unpleasant, even nasty, for the millions who live on or close to the margin. Remember the 1970s. I recall that inflation peaked at c28 to 29% in the worst year.

  15. Everhopeful
    February 19, 2021

    Pent up demand? Is that a very new concept?
    I suppose he realises that an even greater idiot must unlock the cell door first? Which don’t look over likely at the mo. Next stricture…no freedom til the entire population’s blood pressure is normal…testing ten times a day!
    Dogs and frisbees…FGS!!

  16. Alan Jutson
    February 19, 2021

    Have tried to keep things going on the outside of the house and garden maintenance and improvement front during the last year.
    Have employed contractors and also completed work myself, thus have made sensible use of my own time, and have kept a few self employed people in work in the form of electricians, plumbers, painters, scaffolders, tree loppers and gardeners in work and able to earn an income. All work completed during non lockdown periods, and I was completely satisfied that all worked in as safe an environment as was possible with regards to good social distancing.
    The main problem was in sourcing some materials.

  17. agricola
    February 19, 2021

    The BOECE may have a point. A hotel in the Lake District I once lived next door to, with stunning views down the lake to the mountains, is fully booked from the end of March until mid October. I hope everyone gets the break they need.

  18. Roy Grainger
    February 19, 2021

    Here’s an idea. Instead of the Chancellor subsidising hospitality to stay closed with tax-payer’s money why not just let them open and trade ?

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      February 19, 2021

      Quite, let the market decide. Those who are fearful will not go. Those who aren’t will.

      Darwinism will work one way or the other. I suspect that the strong and fearless will prevail.

  19. Everhopeful
    February 19, 2021

    Thinking about economics and the suffering to come.
    Hasn’t this govt. blown a great deal of OUR money over this …um…“emergency”?
    “Mates rates” contracts and the rumoured new press conference room (£2m +)for starters and all the much vaunted rubbish initiatives.
    Cheaper and better to have a fully funded, non political HEALTH SERVICE to care for the SICK in a sane way.

  20. Andy
    February 19, 2021

    We know hospitality has been devastated by the pandemic. But the entertainment industry faces the double whammy of Covid and Tory pensioner Brexit. Many of those poor musicians, artists, actors, performers and those in support areas like lighting, sound, set design and so on used to earn good money working for part of the year in Europe. Now they basically can’t bechase of the lousy deal you have all imposed on them. I personally know at least four people whose livelihoods have been decimated as a result.

    One, who works as as a set designer, has two young children and now faces – for the first time in his life – losing his home and being forced onto Tory Universal Credit. Having been forced out of his job by your policy Mr Redwood what would you suggest he do? Feed his kids some sovereignty? Can he pay he mortgage with some patriotism? Or – as my friend has never been elected by anyone – perhaps he can have a job in Cabinet, like unelected Lord Frost. The man who negotiated your disaster.

    My friend wrote to his MP. A Tory Brexiteer. Didn’t get a reply. It is almost as if they are too gutless to confront what they have done.

  21. No Longer Anonymous
    February 19, 2021

    I’m afraid society is going to be divided more than ever. Leisure activities that we took for granted will return in limited capacity and prices rocket as the businesses that have survived will have to recover losses. Those strivers who were made unemployed by the government will (rightly) be seeking the benefits and support that skivers have been enjoying all their lives.

    And what do we hear today ? Border Force have managed to ‘stop’ 700 Channel crossings according to reports. What does ‘stop’ mean exactly ? Intercepting crossings and bringing them to the UK to be processed ? Does the Government think we’re stupid ?

    And the refusal to close airports throughout this crisis.

    Nothing has made it clearer than the present crisis that freedom of movement (aka the abolition of the British People, in the guise of anti racism) is more sacred than the lives, the safety and the freedom of our people and the survival of the Tory government itself and all despite its 80 seat majority to do the opposite of what it’s been doing.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 20, 2021

      Exactly right No Longer Anon. It was the people who gave the Torys an 80 seat majority to get us out of the EU totally and control immigration. We were never told about the green crap agenda. Once again we have been totally betrayed by those who should be working for us but instead we find they are the enemy.

      1. Fred.H
        February 20, 2021

        The next GE awaits. Will the electorate all have dementia, or be clear on what has been happening for the duration?

  22. glen cullen
    February 19, 2021

    But is the economy recovery going to return us a communist state

    The days of the Tories being the party of ‘freedom of choice’’ and ‘’enterprise’’ has long gone

    The states way or the states way


  23. Lifelogic
    February 19, 2021

    Coiled springs can be rather dangerous!

    The excellent Patrick Moore today on Twitter:-

    “You climate catastrophists can’t claim the coldest winter storm in recorded memory is caused by warming. Like give it up. This air came from the Arctic, where it was even colder before it came south due to a normal jet stream weather pattern. Just concede, now! & #CelebrateCO2!”

    Plus nearly all the renewables failed! Wind frozen and solar covered in snow.

  24. glen cullen
    February 19, 2021

    The Welsh Assembly to bring in a 20mph by 2023 throughout Wales

    Is this policy to accommodate the electric car endurance

    Is this policy going to be brought into force throughout the UK

    Should I move to the USSR today or just wait awhile and it will come here

    What of freedom of choice

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 20, 2021

      Glen, freedom of choice is a thing of tge past. We will have no choice but to do what government demands.

      1. glen cullen
        February 20, 2021

        even in jest I fear your remarks to be true

  25. Stephen Reay
    February 19, 2021

    From what I’ve seen many young and old have been spending their spare cash on fast food. People aren’t waiting for the government to say that they can book holidays. Check out the caravan and motorhome club site and check the booking status of camp sites, unbelievably they are nearly all booked for the rest for the year.

    There will be pend up demand , but the government needs to keep that going with lower tax’s to encourage spending, I fear that the government will follow the usual script of increasing tax’s and damping demand just when we don’t need it.

  26. graham1946
    February 19, 2021

    Maybe there is a ‘coiled spring’ portion of the economy with people having savings they may want to spend. On the other hand there may be many people who have learned the value of saving and having at least a 6 month cushion of money behind them who will not spend it. They will have seen that even the ‘security’ of being employed or self employed and controlling one’s own destiny is very dependent on politicians. Make do and mend me come back again when people can see they don’t need new stuff all the time and opt for the security of having their own money in their own control rather than racking up never ending debts for stuff they can’t truly afford. The economy may not recover in the way hoped and certainly there will be millions on the dole who may never work again as the jobs have gone for good.

  27. 666
    February 19, 2021

    Civilization is ending you idiot.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      February 19, 2021


  28. Qubus
    February 19, 2021

    I tend to think that most people may have a meal out, or something similar, but, as a consequence of Covid, will be a bit more discrimination on how they spend their money. I shall be one of them?

  29. Fedupsoutherner
    February 19, 2021

    It seems to me that if you are mega wealthy to begin with you won’t have any problems getting back to normal after lockdown. If you work for the public sector then you will not have had a cut in your income even if you have been off sick for weeks. If you are self employed or work in the private sector then good luck. You’re going to need it. It hardly seems fair that furlough has given people (if they are lucky enough to qualify) only 80% of their income so many will fall behind with bills etc as many live hand to mouth anyway. There are many that never could afford to go out much and eat out etc so will continue with their lifestyles afterwards. Some people are lucky enough to be able to afford to buy online and do so. It’s just as normal. A case of the have and have nots. It’s always the private sector that hurts the most. We wouldn’t have a public sector without a private sector and this government with its continual drive for more expensive energy, electric cars and heating is totally nuts. They are causing great harm to many people and to our economy. They know it but they just don’t care.

    1. Fred.H
      February 20, 2021

      and a large slice of the population has adjusted to eating the cheapest possible way, due to none or very little income. We’ve had the complaining on here about starving children who unfortunately were born to ‘uncaring’ parents. How will the extra 2m unemployed fare shortly, when Sunak has to end the lavish bailout? How many businesses will fold when the last vestige, and hope, gets withdrawn?
      Spring forward, bounce back – – don’t hold your breath.
      Even the NHS currently non-working staff will be claiming mental problems over the stress of it all.

  30. A.Sedgwick
    February 19, 2021

    Quite so, the myth about inflation “data”, misleading for years with erroneous items included, is becoming more pronounced. Inflation risk will continue to be ignored until it happens and becomes a factor in everyday life. Whilst over the past year some may have spent less overall they probably have had to pay more on normal purchases. For those on tight budgets and not cushioned by the unionised state caution will predominate.

  31. Clive
    February 19, 2021

    Good afternoon Sir John and all .
    A broken or damaged spring rarely, if ever bounces back as you would expect it to.
    Lets see what happens when furlough is finally bought to a close .
    Lets see if the self employed and small business manage to survive let alone bounce back . Frankly foolish , bullish words from someone with his feet clearly not on planet earth .
    I truly hope a speedy recovery does happen ,but while ever our leader keeps moving the goal posts I have grave doubts , for so many time is running out . For thousands of self employed ,time has run out .
    But hey, we saved the NHS !!
    Open up now , not tomorrow,for once lets be first out of the gate .

  32. L Jones
    February 19, 2021

    ”When the all clear is sounded….”
    For ”when” read ”if ever”. Some of us have come to doubt every word your party leaders say. (I include the unelected and risibly-named ”SAG” (the ”E” is now redundant) in the word ”leaders”.

  33. Mike Wilson
    February 19, 2021

    And, of course, MPs have been paid a full salary throughout all this. So, not a care in the world for them. It would have been nice to see MPs’ salary reduced to 80% while they are loafing about at home.

    1. Everhopeful
      February 19, 2021

      And I believe that they have very quietly removed the ceiling on their golden handshakes.

      1. Fred.H
        February 20, 2021

        and about 200 wanting a hike in H of C redundancy settlement with the future in mind!

  34. acorn
    February 19, 2021

    When I suggest to others that there is a wall of money in the Household sector, waiting to fall on the Retail sector, I am told it is not going to happen. When I ask, if it did, what will happen to retail prices when a lot of that money rushes through the front doors of shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels; when Boris fires the starting gun? Again I am told it won’t happen. I am not so sure. I suspect retailers will try and claw back some of their 2020 losses.

    Basically, I am just asking where inflation will go for the next year and should we bother. Should those households that were able to stash the cash in the lockdown, be prepared to spend like crazy; be prepared to pay over the top for their enjoyment, so that the households that didn’t have any cash to stash, can get their jobs back. A sort of private sector welfare system for the post Covid era.

    Have a look at Charts 2 and 3 at https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/money-and-credit/2020/december-2020

    Also, there is a good report from BEIS Ministry on UK Energy

  35. jon livesey
    February 19, 2021

    As written, your piece today is about a recovery in consumer spending, not a recovery in output or investment. Spending can always recover faster than output because spending decisions are faster than investment or production decisions.

    If we allow this recovery in consumer spending to let rip before domestic output recovers, it will tend to draw in imports instead of expanding the domestic economy. That’s why a modest increase in personal taxation in 2021 does indeed have some merit.

  36. David Brown
    February 19, 2021

    I agree increase in personal taxation in 2021 is a good idea and would be supported by a large section of the population post Covid.
    Today’s subject is a fair and balanced assessment of the current position.
    Like millions of people I’m waiting to be able to fly to Spain for sun, sea, bars,music, 24hours a day oh yes please. 10 million Brits holiday and booze in Spain its hotter and cheaper simple, and the Spanish want us to spend money there (under 60’s primarily).
    However supporting local cafes and bars is important -the street cafe style culture has boomed in recent years and I do hope this returns.
    On line I read an interesting article about a large over half empty shopping mall in Stockton on Tees. The Council plans to demolish it and get rid of empty shops on the basis of more online shopping. The view is to have more open public spaces and small independent shops. So the former High Street becomes a mix of culture, local shops, and night life. May be the days for big stores has gone with more online shopping, however the need to provide the climate and infrastructure for small business needs careful planning.

  37. IanT
    February 19, 2021

    A shrewd and (more) honest perspective than we generally hear from our ‘Leaders’ Sir John. I share your concerns…

    Being retired (and having no mortgage) this crisis has been worrying but not exactly a world ending event for us – although we’ve certainly missed our seeing our family (especially our Grandchildren). For others, this has been a truly horrific experience – either through personal or financial loss, or both. I can only imagine the pain some have suffered.

    I certainly hope that we do “spring” back to normal – but frankly I doubt that will be the case, given that so much damage has been done by this Virus and the Lockdown. Will the cure prove to be worse than the disease?

    The banner was “Protect the NHS” and “Save Lives”. As soon as the headline numbers in these areas fall to manageable levels – we need to do everything we can to open up both our Society and Economy before any more damage is inflicted on people. Anything less would be unforgivable.

  38. hefner
    February 19, 2021

    I have another great idea: instead of paying £4,500 per young person accepting to be given Covid-19, why not use the dashing members of the CRG, the Covid Recovery Group for that purpose?
    Given that they already get their £81,932 MP salary they could do that for free, as their gift to the community, as a matter of public interest.

    Come on Mark, come on Steve, come on you the other 61, you can do it!

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    February 19, 2021

    I’m not sure that elderly people, some of whom have little physical energy, will rush to spend their enforced savings. Perhaps a visit or two to restaurants, perhaps a holiday in a hotel. Nor am I sure that there will be a rush to travel to work by public transport. I have not seen the government publish data on public transport occupancy rates, nor data on COVID-19 transmission rates on public transport. If the government does not trust us, why should we trust it?

    What I would like to see happen on 8th March when schools go back is that all economically useful activity is permitted subject to compliance with social spacing, but that activities that have no economic purpose such as religious services and house to house visits are temporarily banned until we are sure that vaccination has been successful.

  40. Fedupsoutherner
    February 20, 2021

    Instead of the government toying with the idea of charging us per mile to drive with different prices for different times of the day why don’t they just charge us all a fixed rate of taxation? If we are all expected to be driving so called carbon free transport it means everyone, regardless of what size of car should be paying the same. £300-£400 per year for all should cover it with a higher tax return from the energy companies for energy used for charging the vehicles instead of fuel.

  41. villaking
    February 20, 2021

    For a full recovery, it will be necessary to remove all restrictions. I fear the discussion is now about a new normal and that will not work for the leisure sector. You don’t get packed pubs if everyone has to be seated and wear a mask when standing up to go to the toilet for example. Look out for words and phrases like “hopefully” and “most restrictions” in Monday’s road map statement.

  42. alastair harris
    February 21, 2021

    I would imagine there are two groups of people who have done well from lockdown. Firstly the public sector, who seem to have been largely immune to its travails, and secondly those businesses that count as “essential”, or whom rely largely on internet channels. Many many people who don’t have suffered reduced income for the past 12 months, and are either now jobless or at serious risk of becoming jobless. Plus we all face the reality of paying for the chancellors “generous” use of our money. Which I think is something the Bank of England’s chief economist seems to have forgotten. Or perhaps never knew?

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