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OPINION: Us greedy Brits have taken advantage of Rishi Sunak’s generous money tree

PUBLISHED: 21:18 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 20 August 2020

Rachel Moore argues that we've abused both the Eat Out to Help Out and furlough schemes, both introduced to help businesses during the coronavirus lockdown

Rachel Moore argues that we've abused both the Eat Out to Help Out and furlough schemes, both introduced to help businesses during the coronavirus lockdown

Rachel Moore says schemes to help businesses through lockdown have been abused by many of us

Rude, demanding, greedy, entitled, selfish, lazy and workshy.

The effect a pandemic can have on a population.

With the serial farce of multiple U-turns in policy that cabinet ministers are spinning, out in the real world, the effects of Rishi Sunak’s money tree are bringing out the most unpleasant human traits.

Rather than pulling together to get ourselves out of this Covid mess, people are turning on each other and consideration, courtesy and human decency seem to have gone out of the window.

It started with the snitch on your neighbour during lockdown and has now escalated into a entitled “looking after number one” attitude, so much that restaurateurs (remember, those being helped to get on their feet by the Eat Out to Help Our scheme) are getting abused and insulted by their grabbing grasping customers, who want even more for less.

It didn’t take long before the “thank goodness for the furlough scheme” turned into an expectation of getting what you want for nothing because “the government is paying”.

Give an inch and the Great British Public will snatch a mile.

This week has sent restaurateurs and publicans to social media to share the shouting, aggression and criticism they and their staff have suffered from greedy customers. Some have had so much abuse they are pulling out of the scheme all together.

The scheme, which offers 50% off food bills in chains and some independents on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, was aimed at getting the hospitality industry moving again.

It’s proved so popular, getting a table on spec is as rare as hen’s teeth.

But instead of supporting the people who lost income for months, customers are inflicting “physical and mental stress” on staff through rudeness and a sense of entitlement.

As restaurants operate at less than half capacity because of social distancing, they are abused for not letting more people in. Other diners demand the same discounts on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

People who turn up without a booking are giving restaurants one-star reviews without even tasting the food and some have even reported being threatened unless they apply half-price deals to other days. and ordering more food just because it’s cheap.

People’s “weird attitudes” have brought nothing but negativity, say some restaurateurs, that places are pulling out of the scheme.

The government will pay really is a weird attitude considering it will have to be paid back somehow. But Rishi’s magic tree is out of sight.

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Setting up the Job Retention Scheme allowing companies to furlough their workers rather than making them redundant through lockdown was to keep UK companies going and people in jobs.

Unfortunately, within six months, it’s become seen as a free for all.

How many people have you heard gloat about saving so much of their “furlough’ money during lockdown that they could fly on abroad on holiday?

No feeling that, perhaps, at a time when the UK economy was in a 300-year record freefall, they might spend that money here.

And then they have the gall to bleat that they will have to quarantine when they come back.

Then there are those who simply don’t want to go back to work and will grasp any excuse not to do so, insulting those vulnerable people who are genuinely shielding and are at risk if they go back to work.

Getting paid to do nothing and enjoying it has become too much of a habit for some. Not all, of course.

Rishi’s money tree has meant enormous sums of money have been borrowed.

Anywhere from £263bn to £391bn, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which keeps tabs on government spending.

Before the crisis, the government was expecting to borrow about £55bn for the whole financial year, but it borrowed an eye-watering £128bn in the first three months alone.

It comes from investors -individuals, companies, pension funds, or foreign governments who lend the money to the UK government by buying bonds and “quantitative easing”, where the Bank buys government bonds to improve the health of the economy by encouraging more spending and investment.

Every day there’s another demand for a government bailout – theatres wanted more after a £1.57bn bailout. Universities now want more government money to take extra students.

It will be these students that will be paying back these obscene amounts trying to keep us afloat and the generations after.

No wonder young people are flocking to raves and piling into parties.

Talking of something for nothing, a personal trainer-wannabe lawyer is suing a woman for £130,000 after he contracted a cold sore after they kissed.

The 45-year-old claimed he had been “traumatised” by the cold sore virus and needs her to pay him £136,328 in compensation – and has paid more than £100,000 for fortnightly therapy sessions until the age of 79 – because “the lifelong virus” has blighted his career prospects and left him at risk of mental health issues.

He says the woman had a moral and ethical and legal duty to warn him of the risks 
that he would be exposed to during kisses considering the contagious nature of the virus and herpes being a “virus for life”.

There are no words.


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