As England faces a lockdown, business seeks state support

The ministers warned that the latest lockout in England could last more than four weeks, with business leaders calling for more financial support from the government to support the crisis.

On Sunday, Caroline Fairbayon, leader of the CBI’s Employers’ Association, described the latest lockdown as a “bodily injury”, while Helen Dickinson of the British Retail Consortium said the new measures would “cause incessant damage to highways” at Christmas.

In a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson may face criticism from his own lawmakers as he details the new corps – before the Tory uprising if he stands in a vote on Wednesday.

He was scheduled to address the CBI’s annual conference on Monday but was expected to cancel his attendance to concentrate on his commons address.

The Treasury has introduced new support for self-employment to address business concerns, and Farrell has also expanded the scheme. But bars, pubs and shops say they are facing growing problems with rent payments and Farlow’s payments do nothing to help this front.

The Prime Minister announced on Saturday night that a new package, including travel carbs and pubs and restaurants in England, would last 227 days from Thursday.

However, Cabinet Office Secretary Michael Gove said the lockdown could be extended if the spread of the virus is not reduced by then. “We’re going to review it on December 2, but we’re always driven by what the data says,” he told Sky News.

Care Starmer: ‘If [the government] Don’t use the time to fix, trace and isolate the test, but December 2 will be a review date, not an end date ‘©JeffOvers / BBC / AFP

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. “It simply came to our notice then [the average number of new cases generated by an infected individual] Under one, ”he said.

Sir Coyre said the government needs to use a month-long lockdown to fix its beleaguered test and trace system.

He told the BBC: “If they do not use the time to test, trace and isolate scheduling, December 2 will be the date of a review, not the last date.”

Mrs Fairburn called on the government to provide more assistance to companies affected by the ban. “We should try our best to reduce the damage,” he told Sky.

The Treasury has announced that the Farlogo project for employers – which was due to end on November 1 – will be extended for another month at 80 percent of its basic wages.

Now the ministers are ready to improve the conditions of assistance for self-employment which is currently only 40 per cent of recent income. Mr Gove said the Treasury would say more about taking further action soon.

Mrs Fairburn urged the government to provide more grants than loans and said certain industries, such as aircraft, needed specific assistance.

He said the relationship between business and Downing Street could “get better”.

Retailers are particularly concerned about new lockdowns, which force unnecessary stores to close.

Ms Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said retailers had spent millions of pounds to make their store covid-safe. He cited a recent paper by the government’s scientific advisory group Sage as saying that closing all stores would have little effect on Kovid’s infection.

He said the lockdown would “cost countless jobs, and permanently bring back the recovery of the larger economy, with only a minimal impact on the virus transmission,” he said.

Former Tory donor Charlie Mullins, who founded Pimlico Plumbers, said the government had “sold the business community” to the business community. “Sadly, Boris has lost these basic conservative principles and the pressure of work and the scientific voice have drowned out whispers in his ears,” he said.

The chaotic nature of Mr Johnson’s announcement on Saturday drew criticism from many of his MPs. One said: “People don’t agree with the policy and they don’t believe in Operation 10.” But the government is expected to see a revolt from its own level on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Downing Street is facing a new problem as the lock union calls for schools and colleges to be closed during lockouts – this will create a trend of resentment from business leaders over the impact on working parents.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said it was clear from data from the Office of National Statistics that schools were an engine of virus infection. “Ignoring the role of schools and colleges in transmitting the virus may require more lockdowns in the future,” he said.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Welcome Trust, said ministers should be asked to close secondary schools within the next four weeks if the increase in covid transmission continues.

But Sir Kayar said he supported the government in keeping schools open to avoid “huge” harm to children from not attending class.

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