I queued up at the supermarket checkout this morning. Behind me stood a lady talking on her phone. I could not help but hear, and before it was my turn at the till I’d learned rather too much of her life story. She runs a cafe, and cafe takings are low in lockdown as she has had to close it yet again. She applied for Universal Credit, but was turned down as she was told that she earns too much. She is struggling, along with thousands of other people whose livelihoods have been affected by Covid.

This morning I read on my iPhone that Boris, Lord Bountiful, is thinking of giving a one-off payment of £500 to all low paid workers who have to self-isolate for 10 days because they or somebody close to them has tested Covid positive. Apparently low paid workers are not staying at home, because, surprise surprise, they have to earn a living.

This payment (or is it a bribe (lol)?) would therefore be suitable for the cafe owner behind me in the supermarket queue. However, from what I’ve read about fraudulent claims for other Covid payments, I fear the following might happen when less deserving members of society get wind of it:

  1. The infection rate and R number will be falsely inflated, as the world, his wife, kids, cat and dog have now tested positive.
  2. The Government website will crash due to the number of people trying to claim.
  3. Low paid workers will still go out to work regardless of whether they’re given £500 or not, as these days £500 will not stretch very far taking into consideration all the bills that need to be paid.
  4. There will be an underground industry printing false Covid positive test certificate results, for a fee of course.
  5. There will be an outcry from the people that £500 isn’t enough, and that they need more.

Let’s see what happens…