David McWilliams: The most critical objective is to keep businesses afloat

The best way to keep people in jobs and buy time is to give all adults ‘helicopter money’

Empty streets due to Covid-19 in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Empty streets due to Covid-19 in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

What can we do now to prevent this crisis getting worse? What can Irish policy-makers do to prevent company closures, militating against more mass redundancies? How can we buy time? Buying time is a critical way of looking at the crisis because in a crisis you run out of time, not money. It’s essential that actions we take today are designed to ensure that a temporary crisis doesn’t become permanent chaos.

The good news is that this will pass; the better news is we can do something to cushion the blow; the even better news is that it demands only courageous thinking and action. The bad news is that, up to now, there is little evidence of courageous thinking, and that includes the European Central Bank’s €750 billion mega-intervention.

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