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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is urged to consider a four-day work week as part of efforts to review the economy after the coronavirus pandemic.
A letter signed by MPs that includes former Labor Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Green MP Caroline Lucas and Guardian columnist Owen Jones arguing in favor of reducing working hours so that “work is shared more equitably.”
The letter, sent to the Treasury, adds that a four-day week would give more opportunities to people who became unemployed as a result of the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.
The calls come after figures revealed last week showed that the UK economy contracted by a record 20.4 per cent in April.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to consider a four-day working week as part of efforts to overhaul the economy after the coronavirus pandemic
Rishi Sunak A letter signed by MPs including former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell,
But the campaigners who signed the letter, which was revealed by the Independent, believe ‘shorter working time presents itself as one of the best options for fundamentally restructuring the economy so that work is shared more equally.’
A letter signed by MPs including former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Green MP Caroline Lucas and Guardian columnist Owen Jones, argues for reducing working hours so that ‘work is shared more equally’
The letter, sent to the Treasury, adds that a four-day week would give more opportunities to people left unemployed as a result of the impact of coronavirus on the economy
of unemployed people, which now totals 2.8 million people. ”
Parliamentarians and other public figures argue that shorter working time has previously been used to respond to economic crises.
They highlight how the Great Depression of the 1930s led to the “normalization” of the eight-hour day and the 40-hour week.
The letter also quotes a recent comment from Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said proposals like the four-day work week are no longer “things we should be talking about.”
The activists, who also include Labor MPs Ian Lavery and John Trickett and Dave Ward, secretary general of the Communication Workers Union, argue that mental health and well-being would improve if the length of the workweek were reduced.
Rishi Sunak Retail expert Bill Grimsey said nearly half of retailers were already in danger
He said the ‘old high street is finished’ and town centres can only survive if the Government gives more powers to local authorities and people who have a ‘vested interest in their communities’.
It comes after a former boss of Wickes and Iceland warned that almost half of retailers are in danger of ‘going bust’
Retail expert Bill Grimsey said nearly half of retailers were already in danger and increases in online shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic has sped up the process
Grimsey’s comments followed Grimsey’s third review, which examined the state of the UK’s main street, which was released on Saturday.
Among its 27 recommendations are calls to replace “outdated” business rates with a sales tax.
It also requires that unused properties be forced to return to the market so that they can be purchased by community trusts to serve their neighborhoods.
Grimsey said: “Before the pandemic, 50 percent of businesses were at risk of going bankrupt. Covid has sped up and exposed the process of people leaving physical stores and online shopping.
“People start to think differently, when they get out of the running of the bulls, their attitudes will change for the better, they will begin to appreciate their local communities, breathe cleaner air, and enjoy wildlife.”
“They have realized that there is a better life out there, built around those who have a vested interest in their communities and not by distant big investors, and I think this has been highlighted by the pandemic.”
The team behind the Grimsey Review argued that “ only steroid localism ” could revive the failing streets.
Rishi Sunak Quick Facts
- Letter signed by MPs including ex Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell
- Reduced working week would give new opportunities to people left unemployed
- They argue that shorter week would help make sure ‘work is shared more easily’
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19