Covid-19: US, UK and Spain face “at whatever cost”

Boris Johnson announced the end of the partial unemployment scheme in the UK at the end of September. (SIMON DAWSON / AVALON / MAXPPP)

In France, the state will now focus on sectors of activity that still need help and promises to do so on a case-by-case basis. Dfor over a year and a half, pTo prevent an economic collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries had to help. Overview.

Of United States, the end of aid to the unemployed at the end of their rights

The American version of “whatever it takes“It comes to an end, in a country not used to aid distributed by the State. Two programs Federal emergency policies adopted to deal with the consequences of the pandemic end today in the United States. Acted in March 2020 in the CARES law signed by Donald Trump at the time, this aid was extended several times, the last time in late December.

Two devices are therefore coming to an end. Firstly, assistance to the unemployed at the end of their entitlement, who have exhausted all their benefits, to receive them for an additional 13 weeks. In total, seven and a half million people are affected. Second, support for self-employed and part-time workers, which allowed the self-employed and the long-term unemployed to receive $300 a week more than their benefit.

The end of partial unemployment in the UK

In the UK, Boris Johnson’s government will end its partial unemployment scheme at the end of September. More than a million and a half workers were still benefiting at the beginning of August, so some sectors are getting ready to dive…

First, aeronautics: short-term work is still essential there, airport traffic is far from its pre-Covid-19 level. Unions fear an explosion of layoffs as aid ends.

Concerns are also felt in the event or small business sectors. According to a think tank, partial unemployment helped preserve more than 11 million jobs during the UK health crisis, while the device did not exist before. It has been renovated several times in recent months, but this time the government is determined to close it on September 30th. Another measure will disappear, the temporary increase in “universal credit”, a concession affected by 6 million Britons. This is a necessary stop, according to finance minister Rishi Sunak.

“These measures obviously cannot last forever, be it partial unemployment or otherwise. Our priority now is that as many people as possible have a job, and a well-paid job.”

Rishi Sunak, UK Finance Minister

For the British government, the time has come to replenish the coffers, which is expected to announce this week an increase in social contributions, to relieve the public health system and finance a future health plan.

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In Spain, don’t “whatever it takes”

We can’t really talk about a “whatever it takes” policy in Spain. The Spanish government implemented a series of measures to protect the productive structure, employment, family income and guarantee the survival of companies, but they were also the target of much criticism. Indeed, Spain has provided significant indirect aid through, for example, state-guaranteed loans to companies or the partial unemployment scheme, which has already cost more than €40 billion.

But, in return, Spain injected very little direct help into the productive fabric. Last March, the Sanchez government finally agreed to release seven billion euros in direct aid, but for companies this aid is insufficient, as it is only aimed at certain sectors and comes too late. About 100,000 companies have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic.

Spain remains one of the main beneficiaries of the European post-COVID 19 recovery plan. Last May, the Spanish government extended public funding for short-term work, a device that has a very high cost to public finances, but that it is essential to reduce the social impact. In addition, the executive extended until the end of October to help the most vulnerable, the so-called “social shield” to face the consequences of the pandemic.

As for the European recovery plan, Spain received a first payment of 9 billion euros last month. In total, it should receive 140 billion euros, divided between grants and loans, unprecedented support to revive the economy. The Spanish government hopes to create 800,000 jobs in three years and gain two percentage points of GDP growth per year.

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