The long lasting effects of Covid-19
Economic impacts during and after the pandemic were inevitable, however the poor response and action from the government, has probably made the economic effects worse by ten folds. In this article I am going to explore what the effects will be from this pandemic and how a socialist solution would help prevent further austerity and stop the pandemic hitting the poorest in our society.
Lets not forget before the pandemic crisis things were still not looking very good. Trump threatening war with Iran, American and Chinese trade wars, Worldwide school strikes due to climate change. The economy was already in turmoil due to Brexit uncertainty. The pandemic has made things worse. We are facing an economic depression that is worse than the 1930s. Nouriel Roudini wrote an article in the Guardian entitled “Ten Reasons why a greater depression for the 2020’s is inevitable.” It lists lots of reasons for this including, massive debts, capitalism and mass unemployment. The latter has seen 38 million people go unemployed in the USA and 1.6 Billion people face losing their job worldwide, that is 50% of the world’s workforce.
There hasn’t been a strong enough international response and no world power has taken a lead to help fight this pandemic. This could lead to worsened trade wars and possible military clashes. The UK is looking likely to be one of the countries most badly affected, due to the Tories handling of Covid-19, Brexit uncertainty and increased debt. Economists predict the UK’s GDP to fall by 14% by the end of the year. This will result in job losses, wage cuts and reduced spending. 2 million people are already on universal credit and a further 7.5 million workers are still currently furloughed. Many companies have already announced redundancies including Rolls-Royce with 9000 job losses, Virgin Atlantic 3000, P and O ferries 1100, Debenhams 1000 and Mcclaren 1,200. 13,000 pubs and restaurants may not ever reopen. Youth unemployment may rise to over one million.
Former Chancellor George Osbourne has called for more austerity and wage freezes. The government has borrowed 62 billion pounds in the month of April alone, it is estimated by the end of the year borrowing will be 300 billion pounds putting us in national debt that is similar to Greece and Italy. Last resort state bailouts for steel and airlines may be required which will mean a return to nationalisation. However attacks on jobs by businesses big and small, government lowering living standards, increasing taxes and increasing class struggle is inevitable.
However the far right haven’t been able to exploit this pandemic this is due to international solidarity and the fact USA, UK and Brazil have come out of this pandemic worse. Three countries with right authoritarian leaders. It is time for a socialist uprising, a true left wing workers party to come to the fold. It is time for socialists to come together and take a strong lead in stopping capitalism and preventing further austerity, it’s time for a four day, 30 hour working week.
It’s time for unions to be more powerful than ever, now more than ever does the workers need to support the unions and the unions need to support the workers. We need to make sure the poorest in our society are not hit hardest and that the rich pay their way in trying to prevent an economic disaster. There has never been a more stronger case for a true socialist government.