Thursday, 7 March 2013

UK: Jobs are being lost by the thousands

UK: Jobs are being lost by the thousands

We keep an ear on the ground and listen attentively. Calculator in hand, we add up the number of jobs being lost. Today, it was Thomas Cook’s turn – the travel agency – with the announcement that 2,500 jobs are going to be lost to try and save the agency.

In the banking sector, Barclays Bank officials went quiet when asked about the coming loss of 44,000 jobs. Natwest has been quietly closing down branches. Add to this the fact that in some areas there are hundreds of applicants for every single job.

In the commercial sector, Marks & Spencer has been cutting down jobs. There are fewer and fewer attendants and cashiers have been replaced with automated systems. Tesco has been closing down distribution centres. We are not talking about small companies. We are talking about the big boys, the ones that are said to be too big to fail.

Today the Bank of England left the base interest rate on hold and decided to stop printing money – for a while. In the governing coalition there are different opinions about what to do to put an end to the rot. The Chancellor George Osborne wants to borrow to invest but Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime-Minister, talks about the risks of inflation including higher mortgage payments. One day they say one thing and the next they say exactly the opposite and this shows very clearly that they don’t have the faintest idea of what needs to be done.  Some say that measures adopted to deal with the public deficit are in fact making matters a lot worse because in the end the government borrows and borrows even more and tax revenues are falling because of reduced economic activity. 

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