As the second wave of the pandemic strikes, early warning indicators show that the economic crisis could worsen as lockdowns take effect.
This weekend the chancellor, Rishi Sunak will close the multibillion-pound coronavirus job retention scheme which has been supporting scores of employees during the crisis. Analysis has revealed that the number of people who are being made redundant because of the pandemic is increasing faster than during the 2008 financial crisis.
In an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the government of the UK imposed new restrictions which have seriously impacted many industries especially the hospitality sector.
The curfews and rules against the mixing of different households will affect businesses across the country and lengthen economic recovery.
Official forecasts suggest that the rate of unemployment could hit a record high since the 1980s by the end of the year. Many people were infuriated by the lack of state support amid the rising infections which prompted Sunak to unveil a last-minute package for workers and businesses.
The Conservative peer David Young, who was employment secretary in the second Thatcher government, has urged the chancellor devise a replacement scheme. He said workers are being made redundant “through no fault of their own and yet have the skills and energy to flourish when conditions return to normal”.
In a statement, he said: “Government should now – for time is very much of the essence – re-create the programmes that worked so well in the past, market them actively, and encourage those newly out of work to get together either by themselves or with friends or colleagues and set up their own new enterprise.”