• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

We must enable the economy to recover as soon as practicable

Status
Not open for further replies.

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,841
Location
Yorkshire
A LEADING business figure in York has warned that the current shutdown cannot be sustained for a prolonged period without causing irreparable damage to the economy.

As the Government considers the lockdown exit strategy, Jonathan Oxley says he has done a survey of colleagues, contacts and clients about the crisis to gauge views.

“No-one expects this to be all over soon," said Mr Oxley, a corporate partner, chairman and head of the York office at Lupton Fawcett. "Even the most optimistic anticipate a phased release from lock-down at some point in the next four to eight weeks."

"I fail to see how the current situation can be sustained for a prolonged period without doing irreparable damage to the economy both locally and nationally.....
Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, said the data "highlights that the downturn in the UK economy during the second quarter of 2020 will be far deeper and more widespread than anything seen in living memory".
The public are unaware of the "horrible" economic damage that is "coming around the corner" due to the coronavirus outbreak, a former chancellor has said, warning that the Government's furlough scheme has lulled workers into a "false sense of security."
We need to act fast and reopen the economy.

Locking down forever isn't possible and wouldn't eliminate the virus even if we tried.

As well has having a hugely detrimental effect on mental health, the longer the lockdown goes on for, the more likely it is that many firms will not survive. There are many peoples' livelihoods at stake and cannot simply be dismissed by pro-lockdown lobbyists.

Almost everyone I've spoken to recently now recognises these facts. I know some people want the lockdown to go on indefinitely until a vaccine is available but that is not possible, and we are risking huge problems the longer we remain locked down for. Enough is enough.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

scotrail158713

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
1,676
Location
East Lothian
Agreed. In an ideal world we would lock down until a vaccine/elimination, but it just isn’t feasible in the slightest - economically and socially.
 

JonathanH

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
9,320
The government has got itself in a bit of a mess though hasn't it because care home deaths are probably the key measure of success at the moment, not a functioning economy.

For as long as that remains the case any concern for the economy is going to play second fiddle.
 

Bookd

Member
Joined
27 Aug 2015
Messages
445
I believe that the virus will always be with us in some form, like the flu virus - although we have flu vaccines they do not always work because the virus keeps changing and so people still catch flu.
We will have to accept that Covid is withus, some will catch it and of those unfortunately some will die (as they do of flu)
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
55,841
Location
Yorkshire
The government has got itself in a bit of a mess though hasn't it because care home deaths are probably the key measure of success at the moment, not a functioning economy.

For as long as that remains the case any concern for the economy is going to play second fiddle.
It had better not do; if anyone is suggesting that they are irresponsible.
 

nedchester

Established Member
Joined
28 May 2008
Messages
1,750
Despite what the Government say we cannot 'listen to the science' in isolation (and I say that as a scientist). We have to look at both social and economic factors which are equally important.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,844
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
The government has got itself in a bit of a mess though hasn't it because care home deaths are probably the key measure of success at the moment, not a functioning economy.

For as long as that remains the case any concern for the economy is going to play second fiddle.

If most deaths are now in care homes, which I believe they are, then surely what you do is lock down care homes more strictly, e.g. get the staff to all live in (pay them a whackload to do so, of course) and do lots of testing?
 

Islineclear3_1

Established Member
Joined
24 Apr 2014
Messages
4,197
Location
PTSO or platform depending on the weather
For people who are already unemployed and rely on state benefits. For people who have been made redundant as a result of Covid-19 who are, or are trying to get state benefits. How is this sustainable in the long term? The government has squeezed the middle classes out of their hard-earned cash. Sadly, many of these are now not working. The everlasting government pot of gold is going to run out at some point unless people go back to work and start paying taxes again
 

Huntergreed

Established Member
Joined
16 Jan 2016
Messages
2,089
Location
Coach J Seat 39
I couldn’t agree more, and I fear the government are focusing so much on suppressing the virus that they’re not fully aware of the effect of the lockdown on people’s mental health and the economy on a whole, and I really am afraid that the next year will be practically economic suicide due to the government’s huge focus on suppression of the virus and the fact that their initial message that “if you go out, you will die and potentially kill your family” has worked too well to the point where people are afraid to go back to work even if they’re told it’s safe.
 

JonathanH

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
9,320
I couldn’t agree more, and I fear the government are focusing so much on suppressing the virus that they’re not fully aware of the effect of the lockdown on people’s mental health and the economy on a whole, and I really am afraid that the next year will be practically economic suicide due to the government’s huge focus on suppression of the virus and the fact that their initial message that “if you go out, you will die and potentially kill your family” has worked too well to the point where people are afraid to go back to work even if they’re told it’s safe.

The two things are not exclusive though - we can follow the message “if you go out, you will die and potentially kill your family” and still spend money in the economy. We can buy local produce, we can buy produce over the internet, we can buy local newspapers, we can donate to causes we feel need our money. We shouldn't stop doing this.

I am spending less money than usual because I am not travelling, I'm not planning trips away from home. I may not ever travel again but I can and should still be spending money. People who are in reasonably secure employment should be spending money to keep the economy going. They don't necessarily need to be coaxed out of their homes to do this.
 

BJames

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2018
Messages
814
I am spending less money than usual because I am not travelling, I'm not planning trips away from home. I may not ever travel again but I can and should still be spending money. People who are in reasonably secure employment should be spending money to keep the economy going. They don't necessarily need to be coaxed out of their homes to do this.
I worry that this pessimism is pervading in some parts of society. We haven't lost hope for a vaccine or (more likely) treatment yet. As this is a novel virus it has to be treated with much more caution, but once we get to the stage that deaths from it are rare then it will not be unsafe to leave your house. Any suggestion otherwise is preposterous.

I agree with yorkie - it's time to start opening up, because we will soon get to the point where the long term impacts will just continue getting worse. And that's not pessimism, that's realism - a vaccine would provide a relief for the virus but a damaged economy will take many years to rebuild and will far outdo the virus at this rate.
 

Horizon22

Established Member
Associate Staff
Jobs & Careers
Joined
8 Sep 2019
Messages
3,170
Location
London
No matter how slowly we reduce the restrictions, there's going to end up being some sort of 2nd wave of infections and I think that's going to be inevitable when more people mix. It's realism and its a trade-off. Some would say but then more people will die and you can't put a price on a life (although objectively the NHS does), although a damaged economy also indirectly leads to lost lives.

Problem is that the UK psyche is very much focussed on the immediate and the daily death tolls.
 

Hadders

Established Member
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
9,036
I am spending less money than usual because I am not travelling, I'm not planning trips away from home. I may not ever travel again but I can and should still be spending money. People who are in reasonably secure employment should be spending money to keep the economy going. They don't necessarily need to be coaxed out of their homes to do this.

I spend a significant part of my income om leisure activity. Mainly attending sporting events and concerts, eating out and travel from and to these events. I am lucky that I am working so my income is the same but my spending has reduced. I am more than willing to spend money and resume my lifestyle once lockdown is over but what am I supposed to spend my money on to keep the economy going in the meantime?
 

chris11256

Member
Joined
27 Dec 2012
Messages
690
I agree completely. The furlough scheme has insulated many people from the economic catastrophe thats happened without anyones notice, chances are most furloughged people won't have a job to back too when their company reopens.
This is why I'm glad that according to reports the 'Stay home, protect the NHS, Save lives' is being removed this weekend. You never know, a simple slogan change may be enough to slowly make people come around & realise that they need to start working again and live with the virus.

Plus also I think the gradual winding down of the furlough scheme will help, currently people don't mind as they're being paid to sit at home.
 

Hadders

Established Member
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
9,036
The main reason for going into lockdown was to protect the NHS as there was a real fear it would have insufficient capacity. It was not to protect ordinarily healthy people from getting the virus. There is a group of people who must not get the virus, they are the shielded people. I agree with others that more should have been done to protect care homes.

The NHS now has the capacity to deal with more cases, they have built the Nightingale Hospitals which thus far have not been used, other than for a handful of cases in London.

This should mean that some of the restrictions can be lifted. Clearly things will need to be monitored very closely but we cannot ignore the economy.
 

johnnychips

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
3,031
Location
Sheffield
Anecdotally, quite a few more cafes seem to be opening takeaway sections rather than just being closed in Sheffield. Perhaps they thought it’d just be for about a month, but are now realising they need income to have any hope of survival.

Of course there was outraged hysteria on FB when there were large queues of cars for drive-throughs at KFC. How can people sat in cars getting food they have ordered through an intercom, paid for by contactless and handed to them through a grille by a gloved employee spread it?
 

SuperNova

Member
Joined
12 Dec 2019
Messages
622
Location
The North
No matter how slowly we reduce the restrictions, there's going to end up being some sort of 2nd wave of infections and I think that's going to be inevitable when more people mix. It's realism and its a trade-off. Some would say but then more people will die and you can't put a price on a life (although objectively the NHS does), although a damaged economy also indirectly leads to lost lives.

Problem is that the UK psyche is very much focussed on the immediate and the daily death tolls.

Quite rightly too given that we're the highest in Europe and 2nd in the world.

Relaxing social distancing for the sake of the economy right now would inevitably lead to a large second wave. The whole strategy should be about how best to protect the health service and keep people safe.

There is simply no way that the tourism or hospitality should reopen anytime soon.
 

Horizon22

Established Member
Associate Staff
Jobs & Careers
Joined
8 Sep 2019
Messages
3,170
Location
London
Quite rightly too given that we're the highest in Europe and 2nd in the world.

Relaxing social distancing for the sake of the economy right now would inevitably lead to a large second wave. The whole strategy should be about how best to protect the health service and keep people safe.

There is simply no way that the tourism or hospitality should reopen anytime soon.

There comes a point at which we have to start reducing restrictions though; we can't remain as we are forever. Whatever reductions we make will lead to a rise in the death rate and that is inevitable as asymptomatic people mix with the wider population.

My point is that a focus on the very near future means neglecting the long-term which can often have much wider, unforseen consequences. I wouldn't be surprised though; the UK has often had an appalling habit of making damaging short-term decisions for fear of long-term commitment. In fact the railways and infrastructure more widely are a prime example of this.
 

Crossover

Established Member
Joined
4 Jun 2009
Messages
8,858
Location
Yorkshire
Anecdotally, quite a few more cafes seem to be opening takeaway sections rather than just being closed in Sheffield. Perhaps they thought it’d just be for about a month, but are now realising they need income to have any hope of survival.

Of course there was outraged hysteria on FB when there were large queues of cars for drive-throughs at KFC. How can people sat in cars getting food they have ordered through an intercom, paid for by contactless and handed to them through a grille by a gloved employee spread it?

We have had a handful of cafes round by us reopen as well - some restaurants and pubs have remained open for food takeaways since the start of lockdown (be it many only on a weekend) but there is certainly a move towards doing something again. Aside from anything else, it is nice to have the ability to treat oneself to food not made in the house and contribute to the local economy in doing so

On a wider note, there seem to be more shops in general opening now as well - certainly at the place I work, we are hearing of more customers opening their doors (some in a limited capacity, but still not completely shut as they have been) and we are expecting an upturn in our order book as a result (having had a bit of a lull since the lockdown began) which can only be good news all round
 

Crossover

Established Member
Joined
4 Jun 2009
Messages
8,858
Location
Yorkshire
I am more than willing to spend money and resume my lifestyle once lockdown is over but what am I supposed to spend my money on to keep the economy going in the meantime?

The only thing I suppose is on c**p one doesn't really need :lol:
I am with you, many of the things I would do ordinarily cannot be done at the moment, so my spending has reduced significantly of late
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,508
Location
Leeds
I’m not necessarily wanting us to remain on lockdown forever... But it does worry me just how fast we are coming out of it.
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,508
Location
Leeds
The main reason for going into lockdown was to protect the NHS as there was a real fear it would have insufficient capacity. It was not to protect ordinarily healthy people from getting the virus. There is a group of people who must not get the virus, they are the shielded people. I agree with others that more should have been done to protect care homes.

The NHS now has the capacity to deal with more cases, they have built the Nightingale Hospitals which thus far have not been used, other than for a handful of cases in London.

This should mean that some of the restrictions can be lifted. Clearly things will need to be monitored very closely but we cannot ignore the economy.
They have the capacity because we’ve been in lockdown and cases have reduced - not the other way around. Reopen too early whilst there are pockets of infection going around and we will end up back where we were worrying about capacity.
 

Crossover

Established Member
Joined
4 Jun 2009
Messages
8,858
Location
Yorkshire
I agree completely. The furlough scheme has insulated many people from the economic catastrophe thats happened without anyones notice, chances are most furloughged people won't have a job to back too when their company reopens.
This is why I'm glad that according to reports the 'Stay home, protect the NHS, Save lives' is being removed this weekend. You never know, a simple slogan change may be enough to slowly make people come around & realise that they need to start working again and live with the virus.

Plus also I think the gradual winding down of the furlough scheme will help, currently people don't mind as they're being paid to sit at home.

I have said from the start (possibly controversially!) that the economy was one of my worries from this. The furlough scheme is great and much needed when used correctly but it cannot go on forever. I can't recall what we are at costs wise so far (£8 billion springs to mind?) but I understand more people have been furloughed than were expected. Some industries (restaurants, bars, theatres etc) may need it for longer but I agree that a gradual phasing out is likely to be needed to kick things back on track again
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,508
Location
Leeds
Despite what the Government say we cannot 'listen to the science' in isolation (and I say that as a scientist). We have to look at both social and economic factors which are equally important.
I sincerely doubt the government have done as much without considering the implications this has. Indeed, I strongly believe that the government will hide behind this - ‘We were guided by science, this was the suggested route and timing’ etc etc, but the government will have known right from the outset the damage this will have and continues to do to the economy.
 

nidave

Member
Joined
12 Jul 2011
Messages
912
The government has got itself in a bit of a mess though hasn't it because care home deaths are probably the key measure of success at the moment, not a functioning economy.

For as long as that remains the case any concern for the economy is going to play second fiddle.
If most deaths are now in care homes, which I believe they are, then surely what you do is lock down care homes more strictly, e.g. get the staff to all live in (pay them a whackload to do so, of course) and do lots of testing?
There's a care home at the end of my street. Out of 40 residents 27 have died, by the time we get round to locking down the care homes, there won't be anyone left to lock down.
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Events Co-ordinator
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
17,595
Location
Manchester
Many of the arguments presented within the quoted selection are quite crackers. Lord Lamont in the Telegraph especially.

There are strong arguments which taken together make a compelling case for change, very soon, as in within days. Unfortunately they're not the ones written there.
 

SuperNova

Member
Joined
12 Dec 2019
Messages
622
Location
The North
There comes a point at which we have to start reducing restrictions though; we can't remain as we are forever. Whatever reductions we make will lead to a rise in the death rate and that is inevitable as asymptomatic people mix with the wider population.

My point is that a focus on the very near future means neglecting the long-term which can often have much wider, unforseen consequences. I wouldn't be surprised though; the UK has often had an appalling habit of making damaging short-term decisions for fear of long-term commitment. In fact the railways and infrastructure more widely are a prime example of this.

We won't remain where we are forever. The simple thing about Covid-19 is, how contagious it is and there's no proof of any immunity if you've already had it. 2020 as a year is a write off and like much of the answers with this pandemic, we can't do anything until either a) there's a vaccine b) there a drug c) the virus mutates/dies out

There are some areas of the economy you could open up and I expect these to open up. However, those voicing their disdain at the lockdown and the economy are for areas of the economy where there shouldn't be any reducing of restrictions - retail, hospitality, tourism.

You won't see many people going clothes shopping in the near future - if they do it'll be online (places like asos etc). Pubs? You won't see me in one until after this has ended. Tourism? I'll save my money thanks - holiday when I now there's no risk of a virus that can kill healthy people as young as teenagers.
 

theblackwatch

Established Member
Joined
15 Feb 2006
Messages
10,550
Despite what the Government say we cannot 'listen to the science' in isolation (and I say that as a scientist). We have to look at both social and economic factors which are equally important.
I’m not necessarily wanting us to remain on lockdown forever... But it does worry me just how fast we are coming out of it.

Two different viewpoints here, but I agree with both to an extent! What I think we need is a slow, phased return - we cannot afford to just 'reopen the economy' just as much as we cannot afford to keep it on lockdown. There has to be some balance. I know my employer is looking at a gradual phased return when we are a position to do so, ensuring social distancing guidelines are adhered to. It won't be 'business as usual' (there's one to tick off on my bullsiht bingo card!), but it will be a step in the right direction.

There also needs, in my opinion, to be the ability to put the brakes on any reopening of the economy, should it be found that it is causing a spike. It also needs people to behave sensibly, which, having seen the way some in this country have ignored the guidelines, is one of my biggest concerns.
 

initiation

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2014
Messages
398
Completely agree with many of the sentiments above.

The lockdown was originally imposed with the goal of helping to preserve NHS capacity. That has been done but at the vast cost of other treatments being neglected.

This is not a case of lives vs money and people who make this claim are naive. The lockdown will absolutely cost lives. Whether from more direct links such as missed cancer diagnoses to long term declines in overall prosperity (due to the strong correlation between wealth and life expectancy). I've not seen any government analysis on these numbers.

We need to get most people back to some resemblance of normality. Care homes and the vunerable need to be shielded well - something we can hopefully afford as we continue to keepo the economy running.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top