Twenty Minute Topic Episode 39: The New Normal

Me June 2020
Marcus Stead

WHAT IS ‘the new normal’? It’s a phrase we hear a lot on TV news bulletins and read a lot in the papers, but what does it actually mean? As the lockdown begins to ease, and economic activity picks up, what restrictions on working life and on recreation are we going to have to learn to live with well into the future?

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss whether restaurants, theatres and other places of recreation have a future, if social distancing means they will have to operate at massively reduced levels of capacity.

The discussion then turns to the wider issue of tax revenue. Around 60% of tax yield comes from VAT and National Insurance. With places of entertainment and recreation operating in a much-reduced way, this, in turn, means a much-reduced tax revenue. What does this mean for the future of public services and public sector workers?

Finally, the discussion turns to new ways of working. The pandemic has proven that it is possible for many office jobs to be done from home, most of the time. Businesses will increasingly question whether they need so much office space. But will the trend spread to other sectors?

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