THE GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL BAILOUT – WILL IT BE SUFFICIENT TO KEEP US AFLOAT?
The Government has pledged to invest 330 Billion pounds into the economy – referred to as a ‘Bail Out’ for both businesses and employees as well as the self employed to help support us during this time of economic and financial uncertainty. This money is being dispensed in the forms of business loans, cash grants, rates relief and salary compensation up to 80%; the maximum salary awarded being £2,500 per month as well as other forms of financial ‘relief’ being brought forward..
However despite The Chancellor of the Exchequer being deemed a hero among many; becoming the face and representative of the people and personifying strength, hope and encouragement for the struggling economy and its employees – it’s not been a subject without controversy or complications.
Despite all his admirable efforts and the best and seemingly genuine intentions, the Government’s financial bailout strategy hasn’t been as straight forward as we hoped and need it to be, and arguably we’ve lacked clarity and clear direction.
According to recent figures, only 1000 Business Loans have so far been approved, and this doesn’t necessarily mean they have received any capital.
Banks are seemingly unwilling or reluctant to help, despite being supported by the government and the tax payer themselves during their own financial crisis in 2008. According to news reports and the Government’s daily briefings the Government is working closely and intensely with the banks fighting for our cause and on our behalf, however the banks are seemingly playing hard ball or at the very least slow to pass it, leaving millions treading water in financial uncertainty, fear and feelings of powerlessness. This has no doubt resulted in an increased anxious state of mental health for many of us across the UK at a time where anxiety and stress are already immeasurable and intolerable.
Whilst the process of claiming the salary supplement although timely seems somewhat more straightforward for PAYE employees, for the self employed – it’s a lot more complex. There are numerous restrictions, application and eligibility criteria, required paperwork submissions and a longer wait time – with reports claiming it would be late May at the earliest that any capital be paid out, with many saying with desperation and panic that they cannot afford to wait that long.
This has subsequently resulted in a colossal rise in applications for Universal Credit, but again with reduced staff in this sector and increasingly longer call wait times, these applications are also timely and to add to the worry, not guaranteed.
There is also no definitive date as to when claims will be active and when you have rent, bills, food costs and perhaps a family to support, this is causing dangerous levels of stress and anxiety at a time that is, as we’ve recognised is already rife with both.
The Government has also introduced Tax payment holidays, Council tax payment relaxation, Mortgage Payment Holidays and Protection for home renters, but once again with reduced staff in these sectors and offices it’s a timely process again with hugely lengthy call wait times with the majority of the population needing the same support and guidance.
We are of course encouraged to apply for all the financial support being offered online via their nominated websites, but we must spare a thought for those who don’t have access to these platforms for whatever reason..what about them.
It’s not just business and employees feeling the strain, entire industries are at risk too, as are their entire workforce. Carluccio’s– a household name and hospitality pillar has announced this week it has gone into administration already and The Foreign Secretary has told us to suspend all travel plans indefinitely.
The hospitality and travel industry are two of the most severely affected ‘industry casualties’ of the coronavirus crisis, and with no life support in the form of customers or end date to prepare or plan for,, will they ever be able to breathe on their own again.
Like everything synonymous with this crisis, sadly only time will tell.
Although the Government’s financial bailout was met with applause and relief which is positive news, it has been rife with misunderstanding. Despite the financial support strategies being offered, not everyone can buy peace of mind which is at the moment, is something we are all lacking and desperately yearning for.
But we can do our bit.
By supporting our local businesses, community and independent retailers that are still open, we can help to increase their chances of survival one day at a time, which at the moment, is all any of us can live by; both businesses and society.
Despite all our financial, personal and economic fears, our sense of community and togetherness has never felt so strong. Let’s support each-other as best we can, now during this crisis, and for evermore.