Arab News : 2020-06-30

Business : 11 : 11


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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