Comment: Chancellor’s help to pay wages most effective way to protect jobs from coronavirus

Dr Ivan Petrella, Associate Professor of Economics at Warwick Business School, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement underscores the unprecedented nature of the economic slump associated with the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The Government measures aim to reduce uncertainty and provide a solid stimulus to an economy which is expected to slowly shut down in the coming weeks.

“The most eye-catching measure is the bold effort to avoid the massive layoffs that would have naturally occurred in this environment.

“Help in paying wages, in particular for low earners, is certainly the most effective measure to protect jobs in the current environment.

“If enacted fast and coupled with more robust interventions to support the most vulnerable the labour market, such as the self-employed and unemployed, these measures are likely to provide economic certainty to the population as it prepares for a prolonged period of distress.”