Daily View 2×2: 9 April 2020

As an extension to the lockdown appears imminent…

2 big stories

I’ve previously picked up on the gloomy prognosis for small business in the light of the coronavirus crisis, but there is growing evidence that the promised funds will come too late for many. Reuters reports that, according to the British Chambers of Commerce;

1% of companies had received funds from the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, while 8% said their application had been unsuccessful.

Another 7% received government grants for small businesses, but double that proportion applied unsuccessfully.

Although some of the survey was conducted before the government relaxed rules to allow more businesses to apply for help, the figures make unpromising reading for the future of British companies.

The race for the Democratic nomination is over, as Bernie Sanders concedes that he won’t win the nomination. He’ll remain on the ballot in the remaining primaries in order to influence the policy platform, but the contest is over. But will there actually be a convention for him to influence?

2 blog posts

Peter Black examines how New Zealand has been so successful thus far in preventing the coronavirus from spreading. His conclusion?

Clear leadership, good communication, cross-party cooperation, clear guidance properly enforced and a collective will to eliminate the virus have all contributed to this outcome, so much so that the country is rapidly reaching the point where, with strict border control, restrictions could be gradually relaxed and life inside New Zealand could return to almost normal.

Meanwhile, Nick Tyrone examines the challenge for Keir Starmer and his colleagues in the light of the Government’s enormous fiscal stimulation.

I am starting to feel sure that at some point in the next five years, depending on how long this crisis takes to play out, we could have a period of harsh austerity that will have widespread public support. Labour will have to have an argument to counter what may be the Tory line that because we spent to get out of an unforeseen crisis, that means we now have to tighten down public spending for a bit.

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