An uphill struggle

Chris Sanger considers the evolution of the UK government’s approach to COVID-19 and furlough in all its forms

Many Chancellors aim to deliver a coherent programme of policy changes, built around a clear manifesto, that results in economic success that is demonstrably linked to the choices that have been made along the way. In this way, they can be ready to face the electorate at the end of the government’s term. Few manage this and the current Chancellor Rishi Sunak, when he has a chance to reflect, may well consider how ‘events’ have taken hold of the usual Treasury agenda, placing him more constantly in the limelight than is normally the case for holders of this esteemed job. With the advent of Covid-19, the Chancellor has seen the government’s wider plans play second fiddle to the fundamental role of the Treasury in protecting, nurturing and enhancing the UK’s economy.