I WOULD like to thank Jo Jones (HAS, Feb 12) for spotting the error in my letter “Covid stats” (HAS, Feb 9). It was supposed to read: “The Government has not acted according to how things are.” I should have spotted it.

Jo Jones asks what do I want? My letter (HAS, Dec 3) spells that out.

This pandemic has shown that the market economy only works in fair weather conditions, which this pandemic certainly isn’t.

Therefore businesses which cannot trade during lockdown should pass to the state. This would enable lockdown to be as tough as it should have been, and it would protect the businessowners from bankruptcy which wouldn’t have been their fault. There is other work for them to do created by the pandemic.

Given that the Government has been awarding financial packages to help businesses which cannot trade in lockdown, what is infuriating is how easy it has been for organised crime to obtain billions of pounds of this money through fraudulent claims.

There should have been more controls in place to thwart this fraud. Some will say to do so would increase the time it takes to process applications. Well, in that case employ more staff.

With so many people thrown out of work by the pandemic, these people can be employed in the national effort to keep this country on an even keel.

Jeremy Whiting, Great Lumley, Chester-le-Street.