The chancellor’s efforts to support the economy amid the Covid crisis are welcome. But it is worrying that while he freely accepts that many livelihoods will be put in jeopardy, he tells people they should not be afraid about the future (Tory lockdown sceptics praise Sunak for saying UK must live ‘without fear’, 24 September).
Since lockdown was relaxed and infection rates have increased, there is a growing tension across generations involving the distinction between lives and livelihoods. As a retired person I have worked my shift, I am fortunately comfortably off and own my home like so many of my generation. I am aware and able enough to look after myself during this crisis, but far too often I hear my peers carping about how younger people are to blame for the growing problems. I am not talking about reckless and stupid behaviour – that is never acceptable – but people having to make difficult choices just to survive.
There seems to be an expectation that people working to maintain themselves and their families under huge pressure should be more worried about me and my lot. This is wholly unfair. We should be doing everything in our power to protect and support these people to ensure that they have a secure future. If we do not do this there is good reason for all of us to be very afraid.
• How is the chancellor’s latest scheme going to help those people who have already been made redundant as a result of the planned termination of the first furlough scheme (What is Rishi Sunak’s job support scheme and how will it work?, 24 September)?
My son and his girlfriend are both in the events industry, which has been nonexistent since the beginning of lockdown and will remain so for who knows how long. They have both been made redundant during lockdown in anticipation of the furlough scheme being withdrawn and their employers having no work for them. There is no work in sight.
They have been saving to buy their first home together so have significant savings, and are thus not entitled to any benefits until such time their savings are eroded – not too long with their monthly rent being in excess of £1,250. What is the chancellor doing for those without jobs who have already been made redundant? The diligent and hard-fought plans for my son and his girlfriend and others in the same position are likely to be put back by many years, while those with no savings will be supported. Does fortune favour the frivolous?
Name and address supplied
• As the second wave of Covid-19 sweeps across the UK, the chancellor exhorts us to learn to live without fear. I have managed to do this quite well for the past 74 years, but with Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, Matt Hancock, Liz Truss and Suella Braverman in charge of the nation’s future this might be a tough ask in my remaining years.
• So a great deal of government money is being spent on helping companies to retain staff part-time (Rishi Sunak warns Covid jobs plan will not stem UK’s rising unemployment, 25 September). Instead of spending money on propping up a (false) economy, would it not make sense to begin to implement the Green New Deal? As this would create many more jobs, it would be good for the economy as well as the environment, and create a fairer country for everyone.
Dr Els van Ooijen
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