Daily View 2×2: 13 May 2020

My apologies for missing yesterday – life is rather hectic at the moment, so time to catch up, methinks…

2 big stories

Today, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme goes live with, potentially, 3,500,000 eligible applicants, and HMRC will, hopefully, step up to the mark again. But yesterday saw Rishi Sunak kick the can down the road somewhat, extending the Job Retention Scheme in its current form for another month, until 31 July, and indicating that furloughed employees will continue to receive 80% of their usual gross pay until 31 October. The catch? Employers are going to have to make up some of that figure themselves which leads to the obvious questions – can/will employers make up the balance, and if not, how many jobs are at risk?

Perhaps he’s hoping that things will have returned far enough towards normal to bring the costs down, and for most employers not to need furloughing, by 31 July, but any Covid-19 second surge would put paid to that aspiration pretty brutally. We’ll see if the Chancellor is lucky, or naive, sooner rather than later.

One of the side effects of the crisis is the discovery that a range of jobs that apparently had to be done in large buildings in the midst of big cities… didn’t. So, what does this mean for the concrete canyons of cities like London and New York? Here, the New York Times examines the possible impact on Manhattan.

2 social media posts

Chloe Hutchinson raised the issue of devolution on these pages on Monday, and yesterday, Kirsty Williams made the point in a more public forum…

Credit due to Rosemary Bennett, Education Editor at The Times, for her response though…

The Northern Liberal Network now has a neighbour, Lib Dems for the Heart of England, who have launched their campaign for the bit in the middle…

Best wishes to them from a small corner of East Anglia!

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3 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 13th May '20 - 9:11am

    Working in a large building in Greater London a member of staff jumped out and fell 19 floors to a concrete surface used as a car park. He was taken away in an ambulance. When the building was refurbished the windows were fixed to reduce the fire risk potentially caused by turning the whole building into a chimney. An identical building next door was not refurbished at that time and would now be required to have windows open

  • Michael Mullaney 14th May '20 - 10:42pm

    Thanks Mark!

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