Monday 18 May 2020

no work = no pay

It has been a long time coming, but finally the penny is dropping that lockdown is over and the Covid party can start to end. Unfortunately, the Government was so harsh in its biding in March and April that we now have a very scared population indeed.

Led by the Public Sector Unions and media cheerleaders like Pies Morgan, the scaring must go on. The fact that outside of care homes and hospitals there is only a tiny amount of Covid-19 now present must be ignored. The fact hat Covid is only bad for a small fraction of those that catch it must be ignored. The fact that Australia has completed a month long study to show kids don't really infect people (they carry too little virus in all likelihood ot pass on) must be ignored.

Nope, instead it is too dangerous to go back to work or have any sort of normal life. No pubs or restuarants, no airplane travel. No going back to to work.

The Government is in a fix here, after all, they started the panic and it becamse obvious when Boris himself was so ill with Covid.

But here we are with lockdown ending and the trains have gone from 97% below normal to 93% below normal. This is not good, far too many people want to stay at home.

The only solution will be a bit of stick at this time and a removal of carrot. Furlough must be run down quickly, with this the last month at 80% pay. Next month 40% would do, also teachers mus tbe told if they refuse to work that is their right, but the Government can also refuse to pay them (illness and shielding for the elderly teachers will have to be factored in).

The sooner we get things going the better for the social and economic health of the County, plus the quicker we find out if the second wave theories are true or another scare story.


dearieme said...

It's a wonderful chance to sack lots of teachers. Take it!

Moreover it's a wonderful chance to remove all legal protection from strikes in monopoly suppliers to the public e.g. train companies. Take that chance!

Meantime the govt should be doing what it can to stop mad spending - e.g. goodbye to HS2 - and raising some funds by flogging off assets e.g. Channel Four and the BBC.

Someone suggested recently that they should introduce extra VAT on luxuries: "sumptuary taxation" such things used to be called. I'd start by levying it on sales of the Guardian, and membership subs for the Labour Party.

DJK said...

Easy to say, and I suppose people could be forced back to work. But you can't force customers to go cinemas or restaurants if they are still fearful of catching the disease. And you can't force other countries to take holidaymakers from a Britain which has the highest incidence of C19 in Europe. So which bits of the economy, that aren't already open, could seriously get back to normal?

"...the quicker we find out if the second wave theories are true..." If easing restrictions does lead to a second wave then that will have been a very expensive mistake.

Jan said...

@ dearieme :
"I'd start by levying it on sales of the Guardian" LOL

I was interested to note there was not a single extra car in the station car-park today......just the 5 which have been there throughout the lockdown (which belong to the station staff). So not a single commuter from here when there used to be several hundred on an average day....unless they've driven to London of course which is unlikely (100 miles from here).

As you say CU people have become too used to taking it easy and it will be very difficult to change this mindset now. They can't all be working from home surely.

Bill Quango MP said...

Far more people about. Lots more cars on the roads. Lockdown is being phased in for retail, to begin reo
Being almost all shops, for July,1st.

This is the expected change in the furlough rules. At present, 80% pay, but employees cannot do any work.
So a shop, which might have 60%- 70% fewer visitors, is better off closed.

Once furlough goes to 40% payoff stay away. But allows up to 60% part time working, many more high street businesses might be tempted to reopen, even if only part time.

At present it is the all or nothing furlough, causing a log jam in private sector. Business went from 100% to 0% cannot return the same. 0- to 200% overnight. I think the chancellor knows this. And the next phase will be some way of managing a gradual furlough easing.

The 100% pay in the public sector causing an unwillingness for some to return, is it’s own problem.

Charlie said...

Outside the usual media loudmouths and the left half (well, 90%) of Twitter, people can't wait to get back to normal.

DJK said...

I'd love to get back to last year's normal. Lockdown or no lockdown, I just don't think it's going to happen for a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there is a silver lining in Project Fear. Its keeping the MSM off the Brexit subject and allowing sensible hard bargaining to take place without every media source trying to exert pressure one way or another.

And given the cost of COVID-19 would any government want to assume joint liability for the cost.

Keep them all focussed on COVID-19 and furlough for a bit longer. Perhaps until the Europeans go on [virus-free?] holidays

andrew said...

My brother in law takes a uber to work in Mayfair (lives in Zone 4).
He goes in twice a week
The company (currently) pays for it.
Quite enjoys the journey now.

Out in the wilds of Bristol, we have been told we are working at home until further notice - possibly forever.
They are working on the mechanics of HSE / DSE assesments at home.

If you do not have to be in an office, I do not think you will be in future.

We may be going back to the pre-industrial revolution days where it was normal to wfh.
Some of the nicer terraced houses in Weston Super Mare still have large workshops at the end of the garden.
Back in the day, that was where the artisan did his/her work.

APL said...

andrew: "Out in the wilds of Bristol, we have been told we are working at home until further notice - possibly forever."

That swirling noise? That's the commercial property market been flushed down the lavatory.

Next up the domestic property market. THE market that made people in the UK think they were wealthy.

There's gonna be fireworks.

Anonymous said...

I hope you're right APL!

E-K said...

It's a Left wing coup by militants.

Note that strike action isn't what's being used (because most workers wouldn't provide the votes that are needed.) They're simply quoting Health and Safety law at employers (and government) and making them fearful of lawyers. They are *advising* their members not to go to work. And the government did all the ground work... providing the End of Days atmosphere.

I noticed that there were no commuters today too.

E-K said...

Is there anything can be done about national debts ? Surely China has to accept culpability and partake in resetting everything pre-COVID as much as can be.

James Higham said...

Unfortunately, the Government was so harsh in its biding in March and April that we now have a very scared population indeed.

In one.

Charlie said...

Many fellow City IT bods are being told no return to the office until January 2021, if ever...

The reality is that most people who sit in an office have been able to work from home for the last ten years - and many have, albeit only when necessary (parcel delivery, nursery drop-off, supervision of builders, general apathy). But UK managers, still obsessed with presenteeism, never really liked it, and never allowed it on such scale as we have today. Covid has merely given them some proof that people will still largely get on with things even when they're in the back garden with a laptop.

Same with the economy in general. Too many zombie companies have soldiered on since the GFC on cheap debt, which at current levels has never looked repayable. Property markets, both commercial and residential, have looked bubbly for quite some time. We'd have seen deleveraging followed by massive money printing and state largesse anyway - Covid has just sped up the process.

In years to come, we'll see Covid in the same terms as we see Black Wednesday today.

Anonymous said...

"The 100% pay in the public sector, causing an unwillingness for some to return, is its own problem."

No it isn't. It's our problem -- that is to say the people who pay the taxes that support them. Public sector unions are trying to squeeze every morsel out of us, and in the meantime their members are delighted to be staying at home for months on full pay.

The government's response has been to carry on printing money.

Welcome to the 1970's.

Raedwald said...

So all the social workers, smoking reduction facilitators, healthy nutrition advisors, alcohol harm workers, play instructors, community empowerment workers, theatre-in-education practitioners, lesbian co-operative co-ordinators, community mime artists, child anal passage inspectors and child satanic abuse advisors have all been stuck at home for two months ... and society hasn't collapsed?

Are we quite sure we want to get the whole public sector back to work?

Nick Drew said...

@ some proof that people will still largely get on with things even when they're in the back garden with a laptop

Some people. But anecdotally, other people are bone idle, and supervision / discipline at a distance is near impossible for management who've no experience of it

won't unravel easily

Anonymous said...

If kids go back to school, and it causes a major flare-up in CV19 cases, would you rather find that out in June/July, or in October/November, with winter coming on?

Anonymous said...

I’ve now had contact with over three quarters of all companies I deal with. Saying they are resuming operations by end of June at the latest.
Most of them are back already.
The lockdown is over.

Anonymous said...

Lockdown was to squash the curve (as Prof Ferguson has been doing, fnarr fnarr) and ye olde curve be squashed, ye NHS be not overwhelmed.

Should ye curve inflate once more, lock down again.

Charlie said...

@ND "But anecdotally, other people are bone idle"

They're bone idle in the workplace too, it's just that they automatically score some points just for turning up. It doesn't matter that they spend their time standing by the coffee machine chatting up the cleaning ladies, or having hours of pointless meetings that barely anyone turns up for.

When everyone's at home, the only thing you can measure them on is what they actually produce/deliver, which is what they should have been measured on all along. Lots of people getting found out at the moment...

Anonymous said...

right now the cleaners are on furlough paid to stay home
the teachers are paid to not teach.

paying for the house to be cleaned but doing it yourself, and the teachers to not teach whilst trying to instil something more educational than minecraft into the darling offspring, yet still trying to do the office job remotely.

public sector or self employed has never looked so appealing.

not going to end well. this magic money tree doesn't have many branches.