Total unemployed to reach 1980s levels without new state support, Labor says | Society


Unemployment in Britain could reach levels not seen since the 1980s, unless ministers increase support for businesses in trouble because of the foreclosure, Labor Party warns today as major parties fight to save the economy from the wreckage of the Covid-19 crisis.New analysis of the House of Commons library shows that up to one million people could be added to the current total of 2.8 million unemployed workers, unless additional support is provided starting in August. Unemployment in the UK peaked at 3.3 million in 1984 under Margaret Thatcher.

As Prime Minister prepares to announce on Tuesday his intention to “build, build, build” new homes, hospitals, schools, roads and rail projects on a very fast-track schedule, the Labor party says the need the most urgent is to protect existing jobs in sectors that do not have a reopening date. These include nightclubs, casinos, indoor gyms, swimming pools, fitness and dance studios, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, conference centers, beauty and tanning salons, and nail bars.

Under current Treasury plans, employers will be required from August to contribute to the leave scheme – under which the state currently covers 80% of wages up to a ceiling of £ 2,500, as well as employers’ national insurance contributions and retirement contributions. This will be the case even if they have not been allowed to reopen.

The government has said it will end the program completely in November, creating a potential cliff edge for many businesses struggling to break even.

Unions are demanding that areas that remain fully or partially closed be exempt from paying employer contributions at least until they recover well. This would encourage companies to keep workers in their books rather than fire them.

Shadow Affairs Secretary Ed Miliband told Observer that the focus should be on “jobs, jobs, jobs” with a return-to-work budget as soon as possible and flexible targeted support for at-risk businesses, as happens in other countries like the New Zealand.

“The scale of the economic emergency we face is enormous. But the government is removing the carpet from companies underemploying a million people by demanding that they start paying the cost of permission when they don’t even know when they can reopen, “he said.

“The government’s approach will jeopardize jobs, businesses and livelihoods, which will impose costs on all of us. Failure to act to protect jobs now will only add to the burdens we face in terms of higher benefit payments, lost tax revenue and a smaller economy, “said Miliband.

The Prime Minister is about to announce a program to build new homes, hospitals, schools, and road and rail projects. Photography: Joe Giddens / PA

Write in the Observer, former Labor Prime Minister and Chancellor Gordon Brown delivers a stifling critique of the government’s economic response to Covid-19, accusing him of “procrastinating and delaying” and betraying those who need it most. Calling for a July budget, he says “its main objective” should be “support and, if necessary, recapitalization of viable British businesses and the prevention of mass unemployment”.

“An employment budget should include tax credits for those limited to short-term work, retraining subsidies for those forced to relocate, and the rapid implementation of a comprehensive employment program , work experience and training for a new generation of leavers and graduates facing an unprecedented fall in youth unemployment, ”writes Brown.

Instead, the Treasury – panicked by the likely magnitude of debt and deficit and now politically micromanaged from # 10 – appears to be virtually frozen. Having acted as the generous economic dove of the spring, he is now, sadly, poised to become the tax hawk of the fall. “


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