NEW NORMAL SHOULD BE REALLY NEW

As Lockdown restrictions come to be reviewed we should use the process as a means to reform how we all lead our lives. To facilitate this, three possible actions connected with the economy might be considered: 1) Re-think taxation. Many people seem to object to paying more tax and yet are happy to support a number of charities or the efforts of individuals like the now famous 'Captain Tom' to raise money for good causes. If all the working people of Scotland donated £1 per week to a new Social Fund we could raise £500,000,000 a year for the NHS, Social and Homecare workers and other important services. (and that's only half the total population making a contribution) 2) Give concessions to businesses who encourage employees to work from home and invest heavily in better technology infrastructure. 3) Co-operate to write off as many debts incurred during lockdown as possible and start with a blank slate.

Why the contribution is important

Despite the terrible consequences of Coronavirus, there have also been positive and deeply significant effects: 1) A re-examination of the people we value in our society and the importance of the work undertaken by medical staff, care workers and service providers, who all deserve better pay and conditions. 2) Realization that we can all make do with less but should co-operate more. 3) Cleaner, clearer air quality and benefits to bird and animal life. 4) Realization that wasteful commuting and travel can be diminished by accepting new work patterns aided by technological advances. So let us build into whatever we see as the 'new normal' the lessons we are hopefully learning and fund some of them in the ways suggested above.

by TonyH on May 08, 2020 at 11:47AM

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Comments

  • Posted by firehorse May 08, 2020 at 13:21

    Only disagree with your statement about paying more money to medical staff, please refer to the NHS own pay scale checker, and remember these figure may not always include shift enhancements/overtime payments. I would then check the average income for UK households. There is a widening disparity of average wages between the public and private sector.
  • Posted by CaptainMike May 08, 2020 at 13:26

    Couldn’t have put it better myself! Really important we press the social and economic reset button, not simply try to get back to business as usual as we did to such damaging effect after 2008.
  • Posted by Wulan19 May 08, 2020 at 13:48

    I'm working from home just now and live on my own in a small flat. I do not mind doing this just now, but going to work is very important for my mental well being, and for my productivity. Companies should certainly not be encouraged in any way to continue mandate working from home following the health emergency, it should discouraged and resisted. My home is not my employers to requisition, they have a duty to provide workspace and facilities for their employees.
  • Posted by alisond May 08, 2020 at 17:53

    Agree with Wulan 19. I find mental wellbeing and productivity detrimentally impacted by home working, general quality of communications at work also. Not everyone’s home is suitable to work in. It’s ok in a crisis and fair enough if those who like it want to ask for flexibility in future. But atomisation of workforce seems to bring as many problems as benefits. Also, perfectly reasonable to want separate living and working environments. Important not to muddle the necessities of the moment with what is usually desirable: apart from the fact there’s a pandemic there’s no special virtue in people being at home.
  • Posted by TonyH May 08, 2020 at 21:41

    I certainly did not mean to suggest that working from home is suitable for all. Also, there is a middle way whereby employees can meet up with their colleagues on a regular basis whilst still working from home for part of a week and reducing the pressure that commuting puts on our mental wellbeing and environment. What is 'usually desirable' is a value judgement based partly on conditioning and I think we should all be re-assessing what desirable means to ourselves and others. It will of necessity be a slow process and involve some sacrifices, in the same way that global warming will too.
  • Posted by Wulan19 May 09, 2020 at 13:56

    I don't want to work for home at all in normal circumstances, I can cycle/walk to work depending on the office and this enhances my health both physical and mentally. Promote cycling rather than working from home.
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