11 ARAB NEWS Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Business Frank Kane is an awardwinning business journalist based in Dubai. Twitter: @frankkanedubai positioning his Conservatives as more fiscally responsible than the main opposition Labour Party. But the lockdowns imposed globally to fight the new disease have forced even the most prudent governments to unveil social safety nets that will put states deep into debt for years to come. The true scale of Britain’s unemployment problem will only be revealed once the government’s furlough scheme for temporarily laid-off workers begins being rolled backed in August. The current spending program has supported 9 million jobs and cost the government tens of billions of pounds. The independent Resolution Foundation think tank said the government had little choice but to spend even more because “the virus will continue to hold activity below its pre-pandemic level.” Johnson should try to generate “job creation via direct public investment in social care and retrofitting,” it said in a report. The ruling Conservative Party’s newfound focus on spending comes with Labour trying to recover from its election drubbing that cost the job of its socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn. New opposition chief Keir Starmer — a trained lawyer with a more pragmatic style — offered to work with Johnson while more than 1,000 people were dying of COVID-19 a day in April. But that support appears to be wearing off as the first wave of the health emergency passes and attention shifts to the economic response. Cornelia Meyer is a business consultant, macro-economist and energy expert. Twitter: @MeyerResources
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