Many of us will no doubt want to forget the disaster that was 2020, but thanks to the UK Government, we’re once again reminded of the daily briefings and policy announcements with a brand new mini-documentary about “the story of furlough”.
Posted by Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, on Monday afternoon, the five-minute video takes us back to 16 March, when Boris Johnson told us all that we “must stay at home” to protect the NHS and save lives.
With such a decision having an impact on businesses and employees, the video then cuts to civil servants in the Treasury and HMRC who worked on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which saw the government pay 80 per cent of people’s salaries to keep them on a company’s payroll rather than being dismissed.
“Right at the beginning, all the decisions were difficult. Should it be 80 per cent? Should it be 70 per cent? Should workers only get 50 per cent? Should they get 100 per cent?
“Someone said, ‘we need a better name, no one knows what furlough is’, and I remember in the meeting saying, ‘oh, they will’,” said Tim, one civil servant from the Treasury.
Employers also chipped in with praise for the scheme, too, with Rebecca Passmore, managing director at PureGym, describing it as a “saviour to jobs”.
Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter
“It enabled me as an MD to go into Covid, and come out intact with the same team,” she said.
The video then concludes with text saying the furlough scheme opened for applications “just one month after it was announced”, with claims for “more than one million jobs” made on day one.
“It has so far protected over 11 million jobs, at its peak, 30 per cent of the eligible population.
“Our plan for jobs will continue by giving people the skills and opportunities they need to succeed,” it concludes.
However, despite the upbeat soundtrack and positive comments in the video, Twitter users aren’t convinced by the new film:
It isn’t the first time the government have whipped out the fancy editing, either, as the 10 Downing Street Twitter account released a 35-minute documentary on the vaccination programme, titled A Beacon of Hope.
That too was ridiculed by the general public upon release, by the way.