Lord Flight is Chairman of Flight & Partners Recovery Fund, and is a former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

The UK economy has performed well in recovering the lost growth from the period of the Covid pandemic; but there are changes and developments which are likely to be with us for the longer term.

This starts with Covid itself, which I expect to see settle into a regular pattern of short-term illness on a similar basis to flu.

While I expect the overwhelming majority of the workforce to return to operating from “a place of work”, I expect executive and professional employees to continue to work partly from home e.g. two or three days per week.

Amongst other factors this helps address the expensive task of hiring help for the raising of children, where one or other of the parents are at home – e.g. for 50 per cent of the child raising term. I expect it to become a normal pattern of Western economies for some 50 per cent of output to be from a home base.

At the time of writing, it is not clear how Russian aggression towards the Ukraine will develop. To march over 100,000 troops up to the border and then to retreat is hardly Russia’s style, where it looks as if Putin may have cast the Ukraine talks with the West to fail deliberately.

Putin’s home popularity ratings have slumped with falling living standards. The West, led by the USA, has organised some powerful counter measures to Putin’s initiatives which are relatively well placed to have serious impact.

Currently consumer prices are up seven per cent in the US and 5.4 per cent in the UK – driven largely by oil and gas price increases. Total increases in NI tax per household will be £600pa.

This is more than the rise in fuel costs from £2,000 to £1,277 per household. Total increase in tax and fuel are likely to be £877 pa. One in four will suffer where at least 10 per cent of family income is spent on fuel. There are also eight million elderly worried about their costs of heating. A short term solution could be to end VAT on fuel bills.

What is permitting and financing the pickup in inflation is the increase in the money supply, caused by Government and Central Bank policies. This is likely to prevail for some time in order to negate the huge increase in money supply during the Covid crisis. I expect “The West” to have to learn to live with higher inflation for the next few years until the increase in the money supply has been contained. This may prove to be the bigger non “back to normal” factor.

It looks as if Boris Johnson may “hang in there” for a while longer, although his days are surely numbered. He has lost the support of the coalition of parties which elected him. The longer he limps on the more damage he does to the Conservatives.

A replacement Prime Minister will also need adequate time to settle into the job ahead of a General Election. Johnson will get some credit for his vaccination success, although this is already history. I do not see there being anything he can do to restore his reputation and popularity. It is also clear that Rishi Sunak is positioning himself to be able to take over as PM.

At the time of writing, Sue Gray’s Report of “No10 parties” has not yet arrived. I do not see it as being capable of “whitewashing Civil Servants” or specifically Johnson’s behaviour.

Whoever ends up as Prime Minister will need to give priority to keeping up economic growth rates. It looks as if the period we have moved into will have some ongoing comparison with the 1970s.