Business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar today urged Brits to “put on a suit, put on a dress and get back to work” amid rising calls to kickstart the faltering economy.
Speaking to LBC radio, Sugar said people’s resilience meant “they get back, they recover, they get over it”.
“If you do the right things which is what my wife, my children, my families and employees have done, thankfully we’re insulated from it,” he said.
The Apprentice boss also championed the benefits of working in an office environment.
“You don’t realise how many questions and answers that you actually answer during the course of the day when you’re in the office.”
Sugar joins a chorus of voices warning of the damaging effects not returning to work could have on the economy.
Earlier this week, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said “the economy needs to have people back at work” as the coronavirus pandemic shrunk growth figures.
Meanwhile, the latest research by accountancy firm PwC showed that home working could cost the UK up to £15.3bn a year due to footfall drop in city centres and fewer employees at work.
But the business guru received backlash for his comments this week calling for an immediate return to work.
One user tweeted: “Multi-millionaire Lord Sugar on This Morning telling everyone to get back to their offices. A man who ‘commutes’ via chauffeur driven cars and can afford luxury houses near his workplaces. Seems to be the new 2020 thing: rich people telling everyday folk that they’re to blame.”
Lord Sugar famously revealed his HMRC records from January 2017 on Twitter, paying more than £58m in tax.
And in April 2019, he tweeted: “Only paid hundreds of millions in personal and corporate tax to help provide you with the NHS,” in a response to one user accusing him of being in it for himself.
Meanwhile, the government faces mounting pressure from MPs and various industries to extend the furlough scheme which is due to end on 31 October.
The treasury select committee has warned chancellor Rishi Sunak that ending the furlough scheme risks considerable long-term unemployment.
Chairman of the committee Mel Stride said: “The chancellor should carefully consider targeted extensions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and explain his conclusions.
“The key will be assisting those businesses who, with additional support, can come through the crisis as sustainable enterprises, rather than focusing on those that will unfortunately just not be viable in the changed post-crisis economy.
“This requires a very difficult set of judgements; it is where careful analysis and creative thinking will be critical.”