Covid recovery must not leave older workers behind – Scotsman comment

It could be that the UK is about to experience an economic boom as wealthier people who have saved money since March last year release their pent-up demand to create what some have suggested could be the “party of all parties”.

One in four older workers on furlough had not returned to work in May despite the relaxation of the Covid restrictions (David Maxwell/AFP via Getty Images)
One in four older workers on furlough had not returned to work in May despite the relaxation of the Covid restrictions (David Maxwell/AFP via Getty Images)

There have even been fears the party could become so wild that the economy starts to over-heat.

However, the end of the furlough scheme, which is being phased out from today, the need to pay off the enormous debts run up by government, and changes in spending habits could also spell a different kind of trouble for the economy.

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Perhaps the good times will roll for some, while others suffer a renewed period of austerity.

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The Resolution Foundation is now warning that older workers face a higher risk of unemployment, with more than one in four of the 55-64 age-group who were furloughed still in the same situation in May despite the relaxation of lockdown. The foundation’s Karl Handscomb said: "It's crucial that the government does all it can to prevent rising unemployment among workers of all ages this autumn when the furlough scheme ends.”

It has been much noted that the Covid pandemic fostered a stronger sense of community spirit, a can-do attitude towards problems like getting homeless people off the streets, and the idea that we are ‘all in it together’.

As the Covid recovery continues, we should hold onto this spirit and endeavour to ensure no one, young or old, is left behind. In a free-market economy, all our fortunes, both big and small, are interconnected.

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