Our eyes were wandering today across the online pages of competing news providers, wondering why they weren't at all interesting and why we were reading them, when we stopped at a headline about Iceland creating 3,000 new jobs to cope with online sales. Our hearts got a little warmer. They got pretty hot when we scrolled down and read further about Morrisons making 25,000 jobs, which started as temporary during lockdown, permanent with the promise of up to 20,000 more. The world just seemed ... a nicer place.
Then we read about the owner of black horses seen dramatically galloping across our screens in a symbol of ... what? Freedom? Ownership of expensive equine creatures? A bank? Anyway, whatever the image of that horse is supposed to do, Lloyds told us today that they are to cut 865 jobs across the UK as the high street lender revives restructuring proposals made before the Cov ... blah, blah, blah.
The bank said it had decided to push ahead with plans to simplify parts of its business, adding that affected staff would leave in November at the earliest. It will also create 226 new roles, which means the net reduction amounts to 639 jobs, out of a total workforce of 65,000 people. There is nothing that makes a business simpler than getting rid of 639 people. At an average of, say, £42,000 each (including all that nasty PAYE and NIC and pension nonsense) it gets rid of a nice simple expense of almost £27 million.
We then read about the only airline that (we think rather suspiciously) celebrates landing at a destination airport with a fanfare, as if this is an 'over-and-above-expectations-achievement', Ryanair, which has cut its annual passenger target to 50 million, a reduction of 10 million, as Europe’s biggest carrier expects the winter travel market to be a 'write-off'. Along with 'crash', 'panic' and 'hijack', 'write off' are the words an airline passenger least wants to hear associated with their chosen mode of transport, but that's the charming Michael O'Leary for you. That little leprechaun of a cheeky chappie went on to say he expects to operate at about five million passengers per month through the winter, with pricing set to be 'aggressively down' to entice travellers.
Just when 639 people have more time on their hands to take a trip they may find their flight has been cancelled. It is going to be a tough 'write off' winter for many.