'We have an economic vaccine': Economist calls for cash payments to public to help economy

'We have an economic vaccine': Economist calls for cash payments to public to help economy
The economist wants to stimulate the public economy with a cash injection to businesses and the public.

Economist David McWilliams is calling on governments to consider giving away "free money" to boost pandemic-hit economies.

It follows a similar move by Donald Trump whereby more than 80m Americans are receiving payments of up to $1,200.

The former Central Bank of Ireland economist believes the so-called "helicopter payments" would help encourage consumer spending.

David McWilliams says cash should be printed and put into the accounts of the public and businesses.

"We have an economic vaccine, it's called money. We know the Central Bank prints it," says Mr McWilliams.

"We know not only does the Central Bank not only have to print it, it just has to put a zero after people's accounts," he says.

Meanwhile, there is a call on the government to ensure those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment do not become long-term unemployed.

Ireland's rate of unemployment surged to 28.2% in April and the CSO figures include those in receipt of the benefit.

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, says they need to be retrained so they can return to work.

He says: "It's an extraordinary situation we find ourselves in where areas like hospitality and tourism are going to take quite some time to reengineer themselves and get back into the market.

"Whereas we are suffering shortages in areas such as healthcare and food distribution.

"So if we could retrain people and get them redeployed in those key industries straightaway and keep people off long term unemployment."

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