Plus: Treasury and Work & Pensions lessons. Greenlighters v the rest. Remembering Attlee’s surplus. And: the key question now is “how”, not “what”.
There will also be a longer-term cost of possible tax changes for the self-employed, but for now these are not the issue.
Two extreme versions of what happens next in Britain. Events are more likely to end up somewhere in the middle.
The tax benefits of being self-employed should reflect genuine value added relative to normal employment.
By adapting the Statutory Maternity Pay system, the Chancellor’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will improve the lives of thousands of people.
The Chancellor should make further provision for them. But the vast though necessary expansion of state spending will need emergency powers-type checks.
Some form of the scheme may be necessary as an expedient. But beware: nothing lasts so long as the temporary.
The theoretical aim of policy then should be bridging over what is hopefully a short pause in activity – eliminating near-term distress for households and businesses.
What about the impact on domestic violence, with everyone stuck in their own homes? And on those with serious but non-life threatening health problems?
The implications of the crisis are such that Johnson and Sunak need not so much to think outside the box as to trample it to tatters altogether.
Plus: As of writing, I’ve had hardly any communications at all from constituents about the Coronavirus.
We lost Putney, but gained loads of poorer seats in the north and midlands. That’s highlighted the tensions.
Unlike litigious firms, trades unions such as mine have a long-term stake in the success of every company that employs our members.
The Government’s current approach to contracts locks out small, specialist providers in exchange for a handful of multinationals.
Allowing alternative organisations at hearing would mean levelling up the quality of life for workers.