Flip-flop approach brings chaos

By Frank McKenna

09 Nov 2020

In October cabinet minister Michael Gove told the nation that there was absolutely no chance of a national lockdown happening. He was joined in describing such a scenario as everything from ‘catastrophic’ by the Prime Minister to an ‘enigma’ by the foreign secretary.

At around the same time, the chancellor was telling northern leaders that he was not for moving on his furlough scheme – so Tier-3 workers would only receive 67 per cent of their wages from November as opposed to the 80 per cent that had been paid during full lockdown back in April.

By Halloween, the enigma was triggered. The 80 per cent furlough restored.

But it is not only Tory cabinet members who have switched wildly from one position to another during their chaotic management of the pandemic.

In Greater Manchester, mayor Andy Burnham was seething with the government for putting his city-region into stricter lockdown measures in mid-October. In November, he was calling for all schools to be closed and looking for a range of 2021 lockdowns too!

At this rate, few of our politicians are going to come out of this crisis with much credit and it is no surprise to see Nigel Farage return to the fray with his new Reform UK party. Lancashire MP Jake Berry has set up a more interesting initiative, The Northern Research Group, to campaign for the ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Politics aside, business owners and entrepreneurs are in despair. The one thing that business hates is uncertainty. Yet that is the only thing that we have in bucket loads currently.

With infection rates continuing to rise, and the economy now in for another major trauma, we have neither protected health nor the economy. The flip-flop approach from our politicians is killing us in more ways than one.

  • To read this feature in full and access further Lancashire business news, advice and analysis subscribe to Lancashire Business View magazine or join the LBV Hub from just £2.50 per month. Click here to subscribe now.

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