Governments facing a choice between supporting jobs or letting the economy take its course in the pandemic are frequently opting to back their workers, even if measures may only offer temporary relief. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s introduction of a new six-month scheme to subsidize wages of people in part-time work, even as an earlier program was being phased out, is just one example of a global phenomenon.
1. What’s the U.K. doing?
Sunak has announced a new jobs support program to succeed the furlough policy, which was due to end on Oct. 31 and has supported more than 9 million jobs at a cost of 39 billion pounds ($50 billion). Under the furlough program, the government paid people who were unable to return to their workplaces because of Covid restrictions as much as 80% of their wages. The replacement policy will