Rishi Sunak should plot a route out of the financial devastation attributable to COVID | Politics Information
The final 9 months have been dominated by the well being emergency of coronavirus.
We have stocked up readily available sanitiser and looked for essentially the most snug face masks.
We have change into so horribly acquainted with the weekly choreography that we all know which days of the week have the best loss of life tolls and when to count on a information convention from the prime minister.
Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance make such common appearances in our residing rooms that we really feel on first title phrases (or within the case of JVT, initials are sufficient).
And the politics, too, has been dominated by the well being disaster – ordering lockdowns, spending billions on contracts, furloughing, shielding the NHS in any respect prices.
However this week, the beforehand all-encompassing well being emergency must shift to create space. It will not be a pivot – the scenario continues to be too perilous for that – however the creating economic system will be ignored not.
On Sophy Ridge on Sunday this week we’ll be talking to Chancellor Rishi Sunak forward of subsequent week’s Spending Review, which can lay naked the complete extent of the financial disaster.
UK debt is now larger than the complete economic system and now stands at over £2trn – or 100.8% of GDP.
Round 10 million jobs have been furloughed all through the disaster – with the federal government stepping in to instantly pay as much as 80% of their wages. The scheme has been prolonged – at vital price – till the tip of March.
Wednesday, when Mr Sunak will put ahead the one yr spending overview, will likely be dominated by the appalling public finance figures.
And his rapid problem will likely be to a minimum of start to set out a plan to rebalance the books, with an anticipated public sector pay freeze and spending restraints throughout authorities departments (not a straightforward promote for a major minister and a chancellor who promised an finish to austerity).
Rebalancing the funds is a colossal job. However there’s a good larger problem for the chancellor: charting a street for the economic system out of the devastation that coronavirus has brought on.
The Treasury is more and more anxious concerning the longer-term financial penalties of the pandemic.
Some industries – airways being the apparent instance – might by no means absolutely get better. Others corresponding to hospitality and occasions will take time to get again on their ft. The place will the roles of the long run come from as a substitute?
There may be additionally a priority concerning the unprecedented transfer to house working – a scenario that many are embracing.
But when main companies have proved that their employees can successfully work remotely, there will likely be penalties.
If proximity to the workplace is not a difficulty, British staff will not be competing for jobs towards individuals who can base themselves within the UK, however these in Beijing, Bangladesh or Brazil as effectively.
What is going to this imply for employment sooner or later? How can we construct an economic system match for the post-COVID world?
They’re questions that in some unspecified time in the future the chancellor should reply.
Watch Sophy Ridge On Sunday stay from 8.30am on Sunday, adopted by Sophy Ridge: The Take at 9.30am.