Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.
Rishi Sunak has been the Chancellor of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Appointed by Boris, after his predecessor quit, due to a major disagreement with the Prime Minister. 37 years old and at the top of his game, the former financial worker seems to be the hero of the hour. Introducing the 80% furlough scheme saving peoples jobs, when the UK was in lockdown. Mr Sunak did other things to save businesses and for the self-employed. Obviously, the Brian Ferry look-alike was popular amongst those he had helped. Since coming out of lockdown, the furlough scheme has been reducing and this month will see the end of the present scheme.
Labour, the SNP, Lib-Dems, etc, urged Mr Sunak to extend the furlough scheme as Germany has done. However, Mr Sunak said there would be an alternative to the furlough scheme. So, it has come to pass, there is a new support package. A scheme that will enable workers to stay in their jobs, support for businesses, self-employed, etc.
Meanwhile, as Mr Sunak stood at the dispatch box in parliament, he announced people need not be afraid of COVID. Saying, "live without fear" and this created somewhat of a confusion. Some took it to mean, you could literally live your life without adhering to government guidelines to do with COVID.
The UK is currently facing a new lockdown, but it is more localised than national. The economy will continue, people will continue going to school/college/university/, people will continue going to work, etc. However, the government has brought in more stringent guidelines regarding COVID. It would appear, Boris is giving the situation 6 months, which will take the nation through to March 2021. Depending on the situation then, we will know soon enough, whether, a full lockdown is required.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay, has tried to clarify what exactly Mr Sunak meant. Mr Barclay has said Sunak's remark about living without fear, meant "the opposite" of what many thought. In other words, if you follow the government guidelines and the re-enforced old ones, you will to a certain extent, be able to live normally.
Going back to Mr Sunak, as described in a preceding paragraph in this piece, the Chancellor has conceded there will be some unemployment. As to whether it will reach 1980s proportions remains to be seen. Will Sunak's new measures be enough to stem the tide of redundancies?
Labour, the SNP, the Lib-Dems, while backing the government's new COVID rules and jobs package, say these things are not full proof. Also, what of the future for Mr Sunak? It is possible, that the sheen that surrounded Mr Sunak, may be wearing off. Will he succeed Boris, as many think he will, well, nothing is certain in politics. One minute, you are riding high, the next you are hated and loathed. Look at Boris, once so popular, the darling of the Brexiteers, now he is being bypassed in polls by Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer. Politics, like everything in life, is a gamble, some you lose, some you win. Boris has found this out, so soon, will Rishi Sunak.
Meanwhile, in the English county of Lancashire, towns, cities, etc, have been put on a county-wide lockdown.
The latest town to have one of these lockdowns imposed on it is the seaside town of Blackpool. Blackpool has remained low in COVID infections, compared to other Lancashire towns. However, as from midnight last night, Blackpool is now on lockdown. Why, because the town has seen a spike in the 'R' rate, the 'R' rate is how the government measures the rate of COVID infection. Many have blamed outsiders for bringing COVID into Blackpool, but it appears, it is more likely native Blackpoolers have caused the spike in the 'R' rate.
Nick Bishop (author) on September 27, 2020:
Thank you Philip, for that nugget of information.
Philip Barrett on September 26, 2020:
Might be worth mentioning that Sunak not only was, in part, responsible for the shorting of the UK markets in 2008 where he made an absolute fortune, but also that he changed the rules regarding furlough to enable his billionaire Father In law to access that scheme and take advantage of tax payers money.