Phasing in restrictions while simultaneously phasing out support is not a sustainable approach to the difficult months ahead

Commenting on the Government announcement today (Tuesday) of new public health restrictions to curb the rise in covid-19 infections, Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation, said:

Phasing in restrictions to control the virus, while simultaneously phasing out support for firms and workers, isn’t a sustainable approach to the difficult months ahead. A new approach, based on learning the lessons from the last six months rather than simply repeating the same policy, is needed.

“The Government should start by providing more financial help to the seven-in-eight workers who aren’t entitled to the £500 self-isolation payments. And with new restrictions being particularly bad news for the hospitality and leisure sectors, support should be focused there too. Business loans will also have to play a smaller role in this phase of the crisis, with firms having already taken on significant debt.

“These measures should end distracting talk of V-shaped recoveries, and concentrate minds on delivering support to the firms and workers who really need it in the weeks and months ahead.”