Them & us

Them & us   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)


  • The Bank of England has pumped a total of £745 billion into the British economy during the Covid crisis in three months. This unprecedented stimulus takes the form of ‘quantitative easing’ bond purchases. So that’s long-term loans to the government, to finance big business subsidies, with funds created from thin air. Seems there is a magic money tree after all…
  • Education publishers want to ban the free curriculum materials provided at the start of the lockdown. The British Educational Suppliers Association complains BBC web and video resources constrain its members’ profits. Never mind what’s best for parents, teachers and schools!
  • Factory output has fallen at the steepest rate on record, says the CBI. 17% of 360 firms surveyed had increased production during the lockdown, while 74% had cut it. The 57-point gap is the largest since records began in 1975.
  • The UK’s gross domestic product, a measure of the total output of capitalist economies, plummeted a record-breaking 20.4% in April, says the ONS. The Bank of England expects the nosedive to total 25% in the second quarter of this year – the deepest recession in three centuries.

…& us

  • Poorer households are having to run down savings and accrue debt during the lockdown, reports the Resolution Foundation. Meanwhile, richer families are saving more, as international travel and luxury experiences are ruled out.
  • Young people are most likely to have lost income during the pandemic, says the Resolution Foundation. More than one in three 18 to 24-year-olds now earns less. Workers under 25 are around two-and-a-half times more likely to work in the sectors most disrupted by lockdown, finds the IFS.
  • Unemployment claims soared 23% last month to 2.8 million, according to HMRC data. In March, 1.24 million signed on – so that’s a 126% explosion since lockdown.
  • Poverty has forced 100,000 family members carrying out care duties to use food banks during lockdown, says Carers UK. 229,000 carers reported someone in their household had had to go hungry.
  • Employers got rid of an estimated 612,000 workers from official payrolls between March and May, says the ONS. Around 9.1 million are currently furloughed, and could start to join dole queues from August as the subsidy ends.
  • Airlines and their supply chains could shed 70,000 jobs due to the Covid crisis, reports the New Economics Foundation. The think tank compares the scale of carnage to Thatcher’s demolition of the mining industry.
  • There are now about 20 jobseekers per vacancy in poorer parts of the UK, says the Institute for Employment Studies. Up to 50 are chasing each position in areas most hit by coronavirus. Richer areas have just five candidates per post.