Tuesday 15 September 2020

Labour suggest furlough replacement and to fight the last war, again

Quite interesting to read the news out today and the predictably stupid and vain responses from MP's. 

The news I refer too is the predictions for half a million jobs ro so to go this quarter as the furlough scheme ends. Labour of course want the scheme extended and improve upon - with more free money to pretend to keep people employed and also permanent schemes to help sectors of the economy that need it, in their view.

The Government too has its kickstarter scheme and some others, but in the round is interfering a bit less and looking at the costs a bit more. 

The Government is better here, although now is probably the time to look at the benefits system in the round and move to something more on the Swiss model. In Switzerland the Government pay you for up to a year after redundancy 80% of your wages until you find a new job - very generous indeed.

In the UK this could be a lower amount but with a credit towards re-training, which is desperately needed. 

Keir Starmer's usual vacuous soundbite is to help sectors that need support like retail and airlines. How is this of any use? We will need a lot less airline capacity for many years to come and already need far fewer shops than we used to. Plus retail is unskilled work anyway, those people in retail need some skills that maybe useful to help them earn a better living, otherwise they are going to be unemployed a long time.

Quite the worst thing to do at the moment is to try to resurrect the old economy. 10 years of cultural transformation has happened in 6 months. Offices won't be the same, working from home will be more normal and online purchasing even more of a trend. Plus staycations and home improvements. These changes are schumpeterian ones, the chaos of the recession and pandemic. Really they should be embraced to channel the changes we need into progress rather than fought against like the closure of the mining pits etc a generation ago that achieved nothing. 

Both left and right now agree with analysis that it would be have been better to close the pits and try to retrain everybody with genuine new skills rather than leave them to fester in long-term unemployment. 

So maybe let's not do that again, for example technology means we need less retail workers but far more logistics workers, why not prepare the workforce for the economy now emerging rather than the one the sun has set on?


dearieme said...

"Keir Starmer's usual vacuous soundbite": yes he seems oddly dud.

Or is it that he has to fake being dud so that no actual policy proposal can ever be attributed to him?

Nick Drew said...

Have to say, he's adopted a policy and is sticking to it with tremendous discipline, come Hell and high water (and pestilence and death)

despite the increasing dismay of (many of) his own side

it only works against Boris (and only then within the Westminster bubble, to a limited, 'formal' extent)

the cleverer ones know that it is very high risk: Boris will be ditched by the ruthless Tories in due course and he'll find himself up against someone quite different

PushingTheBoundaries said...

Agree with yours CU.

I suspect the temptation to roll (rather than kick) the can down the road here is high to appease people whilst other headline events play out so the Govt keeps a light touch on it and can pull it back if needed. Personally, I think we should take the hit now and allow the zombie businesses to die with ppl knowing that they have a year to find employment elsewhere.

"In the UK this could be a lower amount but with a credit towards re-training, which is desperately needed. "

I would go further, make it mandatory as part of receiving the 80% - that way you maintain the work ethic of getting up and doing something - activity, plus you keep a lot of small training companies in business, and we can steer the training courses where the future jobs will be. The devil makes work for idle hands to do.

Anonymous said...

Change always brings fear, and this particular one is heavy on that. Years of a particular way of working has created a support network with a multiplier effect, and now that network is falling apart as change happens. Given our political masters have become caretakers rather than statesmen, it's no real surprise they want to sweep the change away rather than face up to it.

For staycations, I'm really surprised there's not been some planning to make the UK seaside holiday tolerable again in the near future. Many places are actually quite nice, just layers of dust have made them decrepit and the accommodation options pretty horrific. The last several times I've stayed in Blackpool, I've generally wish I hadn't, whilst in Margate I stayed in a lovely hotel with the wife, the previous time in a pit that was free from rats only because the rats had standards.

From Margate to Dornoch, Barmouth to Skeggy, there's a raft of potential to be unleashed rather than relying on the hope of a sunny day and amusement arcades stuck in the 60s to hide all the problems.

Sobers said...

"Technology means we need less retail workers but far more logistics workers, why not prepare the workforce for the economy now emerging rather than the one the sun has set on?"

Yes, because the middle aged women who work(ed) in shops, hotels and restaurants really wanted to drive HGVs and forklifts all along. And of course the places that are stuffed with hospitality trade employment are exactly the same places that all the warehouses are located.