However old you are, you have never lived through such strange economic times. We are having a recession because we need people to be able to stop operating their businesses. We want to put the economy in the deep freeze so it can restart when things start getting back to normal. That is why the government is right to bring in support for wages, so people can afford not to keep working. They are going to pay 80 per cent of an employee’s salary – with a cap of £2,500 per month – in companies where those employees are unable to do their work and would be laid off.
In addition, a similar scheme for self-employed people; they can get 80 per cent of their salary, a grant capped at £2,500 per month, based on their income tax returns in previous years. That, however, is tricky – and will leave a lot of people in trouble.
What if you are self-employed, but only recently? In that case, Universal Credit and Statutory Sick Pay are your only options. I’m pretty worried about charities too, if I’m honest: lots need to keep their employees working, so these support measures do not apply to them and their incomes have taken a hit – either because their shops have closed, or donations have dried up. An important step we can all take against this disease is to make sure we keep helping local charity.
Chris is the former policy editor at BBC Newsnight. He is now an editor at Tortoise, a news organisation shaped by its members. You can become a member of Tortoise for a pound a week by going to tortoisemedia.com/friends and using the code CHRISCOOK50