Faced with an enormous lockdown bill Chancellor Rishi Sunak has a plan to get Britain back on its feet


WHAT a relief that the Chancellor has got his head screwed on and is sticking to the Conservatives’ election pledge not to hike income tax, VAT or National Insurance.

Faced with an enormous lockdown bill, another politician might panic and raise taxes to try to pay off the debt.

But that would lead to disaster in the long run: when Brits are coughing up vast swathes of their hard-earned cash to the Treasury, they can’t afford to splash on pub trips, holidays and new clothes.

And spending is the one sure way to get our creaking economy moving again.

The plan to subsidise the wages of young people for six months is welcome too.

It’s always struck us as unfair that young people in unstable jobs — who are unlikely to get seriously ill from Covid — will bear the brunt of lockdown’s economic cost.

They are twice as likely to be furloughed as the rest of the population, and from what we’ve seen so far, furloughing is often a precursor to unemployment.

So it’s sensible of the Chancellor to introduce a £2billion kickstarter fund, which will go some way to righting that injustice.

Of course, the mini-Budget won’t be enough, on its own, to fix the thousands of economic problems caused by lockdown.

And the Government must level with the public on the upcoming unemployment tsunami: even with the grim news on hundreds of businesses going bust, too many Brits have been lulled into a false sense of security and still don’t realise they may not have jobs to come back to when all this is over.

But credit where it’s due.

It looks like Rishi Sunak has got the outline of a plan to get this country back on its feet.

BRITAIN’S thriving beauty industry is being hammered by lockdown.

And too many of our politicians couldn’t care less.

As well as contributing a whopping £28billion to the UK economy, this powerhouse sector employs over 370,000 Brits — most of them women working part-time to support their families.

But instead of fighting tooth and manicured nail to get salons open again, our MPs are shrugging their shoulders and abandoning them to their fate.

We know enforcing social-distancing across a huge range of different businesses is a challenge.

We don’t envy the Government having to work it all out.

But we can’t help noticing that car showrooms and pubs — typically male haunts — have been allowed to reopen.

And we can’t see why beauty salons, run by ultra-hygienic professionals, should be treated any differently.

We suspect things might be a little different with a few more women in the Commons…

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