03 Mar The Chancellor is prolonging the agony by extending the furlough yet again
It’s strange to think that someone who has worked as an investment banker and is now the Chancellor under a Tory Government would turn out to be such a softy.
Unfortunately, what he is doing by extending this scheme until September is causing more harm than good.
This scheme is a costly waste of money, but it has become a comfort blanket which is sapping productivity and putting a stop to growth.
It is throwing money down the toilet by delaying the inevitable. The Chancellor is simply propping up unviable businesses for another few months and paying the wages of people in ghost jobs that effectively ceased to exist months ago.
It’s not ruthless or cold-hearted to say that it’s better for all concerned to stop delaying the difficult decisions.
We are kidding ourselves to think this scheme is doing any good now. It served a purpose but now it’s like a big Ponzi scheme, with money being poured in but no return.
Very soon the majority of people will be in a position to return to work, so what’s the point of paying them to stay at home?
Unless, of course, you are just hoodwinking everybody into thinking the jobless figures aren’t that bad.
If you’re paying people to sit at home and watch Loose Women, then of course that’s what they are going to do.
We now need to move on, get the economy going, get people back into the workplace and stop this idea that people can sit at home talking to their cats and get paid for it.
Of course, it will be tough initially, but we have to get rid of the dead wood. It will enable the people to think creatively and start again and will free the nation’s zombie workforce, giving them a chance to find work elsewhere.
I understand the need for targeted furlough in sectors like hospitality, which will take some time to return to anything like a normal operational level.
But for other businesses it’s become a crutch that is stopping them from toppling and that is not good for anyone.
It’s time the Chancellor grew a pair and put furlough to the sword once and for all, so that the country can start to flourish once more.