School of Business and Economics


Watch Dr Huw Edwards react to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announcing extraordinary measures to help workers and companies through the COVID-19 pandemic

In the interview, Dr Huw Edwards shares his thoughts on the measures the government is taking to help workers and businesses:

  • Just a week and a half ago the government was talking quite complacently – a few slowdown measures were said to be enough to cope and built up herd immunity.
  • It is apparent that the government had to change its approach as the UK is heading the same way as Italy and does not have the capacity to cope.
  • The UK has been moving towards a more flexible labour market for years. However, now, the government is having to think very quickly without proper preparation and reverse its previous policies as the coronavirus is a threat both to individuals and businesses.
  • When talking about people on zero-hour contracts, freelancers or contractors, there has been a move towards universal credit, however, it is not working well at the moment.
  • The government is also having to work with the current tax gathering systems and the benefit systems that it has got in place as it is very difficult to invent something completely new.
  • As Britain is particularly dependent on the financial services industry, we may be particularly vulnerable to a financial services crash.
  • A “hard Brexit” could make things worse if it affects medical cooperation or food supply.