The coronavirus pandemic is teaching national Government to move towards the standards of government in the biblical Millennium. There is much room for improvement, but the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme announced today by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer is a step in the right direction. It is a financial package “unprecedented in the history of the British state” and it is an example to the world.
The proper use of wealth
One of the features of the rich is that they can ‘ride the downturn’. When share prices fall, the rich can afford to ‘sit it out’ until prices recover. The less well-off have to sell at the bottom, mirroring the failure of businesses in a downturn because of inadequate cash reserves. For the first time the UK Government has used national wealth to ride the economic storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
This is a global lead and, as Rishi Sunak the new Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “When this is over, and it will be over, … we want to look back on this time and remember how in the face of a generation-defining moment we undertook a collective, national effort and we stood together.” We did what it took.
This financial package is an attempt to preserve the business, skills and employment infrastructure in the UK so that it is still in place to recover when the pandemic diminishes.
Learning from history
Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged that the UK had learned from the inadequate measures taken in the 2008 financial crisis. On that occasion the banks were bailed out, but instead of banks lending to small businesses, they kept the money to recapitalise themselves. Many useful small businesses went to the wall because the banks would not lend to them. This time, the UK Government is directly supporting the people, their employment and the business infrastructure of the country.
This change in government ideology is one of the benefits of the coronavirus pandemic.
A medical illustration
There are many medical diseases that need hard-hitting initial medication, which then tailors off such as steroids. In the past arthritis was treated in a gradual manner but now it is hit hard from the beginning and tailored off. Similarly with dermatitis, and even type 2 diabetes is being reversed by hard-hitting dieting, which seems to ‘reset’ the metabolism of the body.
This economic measure is calculated to be ‘cheap at the price’ if it should curtail a long-term recession or depression caused by the destruction of the nation’s business infrastructure.
This largesse is possibly one of the first benefits of Brexit, the UK Government having the freedom to map the pathway to recovery and using our national wealth, financial and human, for a more generous future.
A more lasting benefit is to use the wealth of the whole nation to support the workforce of the nation. The next step is to teach the poor how to capitalise on the investment wealth of the nations to become self-sufficient and develop their potential. Having dealt with the main priorities of Government – 1. the safety and defence of its citizens, 2. the health of the nation, 3. the wellbeing of its citizens through education leading to meaningful and gainful employment – Government might recall its duty to attend to the spiritual needs of the nation by encouraging and supporting preachers of the Gospel of God’s free grace through Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ’s biblical Millennium is on course.
26 Mar 2020: some banks are still shifting responsibility. As in 2008, some banks are failing to implement the Government’s purpose in the bail-out scheme and it is the prudent businesses who suffer most. It demonstrates the need for change before the biblical Millennium will transpire. It shows how different business, government and attitudes will be in the biblical Millennium.
1 Apr 2020: banks continuing to drag their feet. We have a long way to go to change attitudes.
9 Apr 2020: Government will borrow from the Bank of England if it cannot raise the money from the market, as it did in the 2008 financial crisis.
10 Apr 2020: at Scottish First Minister’s daily briefing today, Nicola Sturgeon said that she had explored a Citizen’s Income for some years. Although she has not come to a definitive view she thought that coming out of the coronavirus crisis has “immeasurably strengthened” the discussion. I agree that this is the time to consider and implement a basic household income. There were also questions about the level of support for businesses. It is worth noting that if small businesses collapse, their business and clientele are swallowed up by larger businesses who may contract but can ride the storm if they do not have too much leverage, which is itself a sign of those who try to expand too fast. It is important to begin with the survival of small businesses.
14 Apr 2020: on the BBC today, Professor Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in discussing the UK coming out of lockdown also pointed out the need to support small businesses lest they “be swept up by the multinational corporations”.
22 Apr 2020: the first “hybrid sitting” in the 700-year history of the House of Commons took place today in preparation for the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Peter Bone MP drew attention to the banks’ behaviour. Banks are charging 20% interest per year for overdrafts and in July this will increase to 40%, but savers receive 0.1% for their savings. Dominic Raab, the First Secretary, stood in for the Prime Minister Boris Johnson who was being treated for COVID-19. He demonstrated yet again the inability to answer questions. Why should businesses be able to borrow on favourable rates, but others cannot? As usual, savers are paying for ‘the economy to go round’ and they are discouraged from saving on the dubious principle that money stored in banks is not ‘contributing’ to the economy. Tell that to those storing gold bullion bars in their vaults. It is because of such stores that the paper and the growing paperless economy is going round. The failure to understand reserve stocks led to the rapid stockpiling of food, facemasks, protective gloves and hand-sanitizers. It led to out-sourcing vital materials to foreign countries and the failure of the UK to have adequate resources to contact trace cases when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the UK and to have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS staff and carehome workers. This lack of foresight and preparation is the price that a secular society pays for not knowing the Christian message of foresight and preparation.
“The prudent foresees evil and hides himself: but the simple carry on and pay for it.”Proverbs 22:3