The Guardian’s morning briefing includes this paragraph today:
The chancellor’s second mini-budget of the pandemic will lay bare the government’s fears over the long-lasting impact of a looming winter surge in unemployment when he unveils a £4.3bn package of support to help the jobless find work. It includes a £2.9bn Restart scheme designed to aid a million workers with their job searches; and a further £1.4bn to increase the capacity of Jobcentre Plus – the government’s support service for the unemployed.
In one paragraph all that will be wrong in today’s report is summarised.
Realistically, once furlough and lockdowns through the spring are over, the mortality rate amongst British businesses that had clung on in the hope of Christmas tracing is going to be very high. Hundreds of thousands may fail.
With these failures millions of jobs will be lost. Even the government thinks unemployment might rise to 4 million people. This proposed funding will provide, in that case, £1,000 to each of them to help fund a job, most of which money will go to the advisers telling them what to do.
The trouble is that these people will not have jobs because there won’t be any, and not because they need some help polishing their CVs.
But the government does not get this. It thinks it is for the private sector to create the jobs that will be required. They cannot comprehend that the real private sector - the job-creating but and not the hedge fund, chaos exploiting part - is going to knocked out for some time to come. Its sole aim will be survival. Taking risks, and creating new jobs is not what it is going to be doing.
What that means is that if we want new jobs - and we will want them by the million - then the state sector has to deliver, either by demanding the services required (all those needed to deliver a Green New Deal, for example) or by employing people directly in care, education, and so on.
And unless that happens there is only going to be one word to describe Rishi Sunak, and that's that he will be a failure.
I see that coming, unfortunately.