The Guardian reported yesterday that eight people are now applying for employment support for every available job vacancy. And this is before the tsunami of unemployment that is going to hit us has really begun to develop.
Also yesterday I got a report back from one person who reads this blog and who had written to their MP on what they were going to do about the world after furlough using the letter I drafted not long ago. That MP had responded saying:
Forty per cent of the workforce in my constituency is on furlough, many of whom are in the hospitality and tourism sector, the two largest sectors of our local economy.
The Government will soon roll back the furlough scheme which I fear will lead to a steep rise in redundancies. We've already seen a 314% increase in unemployment. Universal Credit is, for many, the only option for financial support. While UC provides something, the benefit can be difficult for some to live on ..... [and] the amount a family receives from UC can vary widely case by case.
I speak to employers and workers pretty much every day about their situation. I write to Government Ministers almost daily. It's important that the Government extends its support packages into next year because the economic and human cost of mass unemployment would hugely outweigh the cost of keeping businesses going into the spring. Specifically, I have been pushing for a bespoke package of support for our two largest local sectors; hospitality and tourism.
I can’t name that MP. I do not have their agreement to do so. But they are clearly monitoring what is happening and are trying to do something about it. That’s what MPs should be doing rather than parroting party lines. And that MP seems to be doing that because they care and realise the scale of the issue that we are going to face. I wish more did.
I thank the reader who shared that with me. It’s good to have a little faith in the body politic restored.
My own MP has yet to respond.