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Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Britain faces biggest slump for 300 years: Chancellor Rishi Sunak warns UK economy could shrink by 35 per cent and TWO MILLION could lose their jobs due to lockdown


At the Downing Street briefing tonight, Rishi Sunak said the UK was facing 'tough times and there will be more to come'
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said people should brace for 'hardship' as he insisted the hit from the lockdown measures designed to combat the deadly coronavirus would be 'temporary'. And he flatly dismissed the idea that ministers must choose between propping up the economy and stopping people dying from the outbreak, saying the government would 'protect our people'. 

The comment came as shocking analysis from the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted curbs staying in place for three months will slash GDP by 35 per cent, with unemployment soaring to 10 per cent and the government's deficit hitting £273billion - the highest level since the Second World War. The watchdog ominously said it was assumed 'for now' there will not be any fundamental economic damage, and much of the crash will be unwound as pent-up demand is unleashed. However, the resulting 13 per cent drop year-on-year is still worse than anything in the last century. Responding to the chilling scenario - which emerged as the IMF predicted the worst global downturn since the Great Depression in 1929 - Mr Sunak said 'people should know there is hardship ahead'. At the Downing Street briefing tonight, he said the UK was facing 'tough times and there will be more to come'.

Coronavirus UK: Rishi Sunak warns of 'tough times to come'
The watchdog ominously said it was assumed 'for now' there will not be any fundamental economic damage, and much of the crash will be unwound as pent-up demand is unleashed. However, the resulting 13 per cent drop year-on-year is still worse than anything in the last century. 

Responding to the chilling scenario - which emerged as the IMF predicted the worst global downturn since the Great Depression in 1929 - Mr Sunak said 'people should know there is hardship ahead'.
At the Downing Street briefing tonight, he said the UK was facing 'tough times and there will be more to come'.
But he said the effects would be temporary and he expected a 'bounce back', and pointed to the government's massive bailout plans. 'We are not going to stand by and let this happen,' he said.
The apocalyptic figures emerged after Dominic Raab moved to quash the idea of an imminent loosening, with the UK now facing restrictions until at least May 7.
But there is growing alarm about the potential death toll from economic misery, with life expectancy set to take a major hit. Doctors have also warned that suspending all non-urgent NHS operations to focus on coronavirus cases means more cancer and heart disease patients will die.
The Cabinet is divided between 'hawks' and 'doves' over whether to push to ease the lockdown soon, with some saying the public is obeying social distancing too well and must be urged to keep working where possible.
But concerns have been raised that it is impossible to lift the curbs at the moment anyway because the public is so strongly in favour of them staying in place, and would simply refuse to go back to normal.  
In other developments on another chaotic day of crisis:
  • The IMF has said it expects the global economy to shrink 3 per cent this year - far worse than its 0.1 per cent dip after the credit crunch, but growth should rebound to 5.8 per cent in 2021. The UK is forecast to take a 6.5 per cent hit this year, while Italy could see a drop of 9.1 per cent; 
  • A total of 406 deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales registered up to April 3 occurred outside of hospitals, according to provisional figures from the Office for National Statistics; 
  • Nicola Sturgeon has vented anger at reports PPE has been diverted from Scottish care homes to English ones, saying she 'will not stand by and be treated unfairly'; 
  • Teachers are 'disturbed' by 'unhelpful' speculation that schools and colleges will reopen soon amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the largest education union in Europe; 
  • No10 chief adviser Dominic Cummings has returned to work in Downing Street after going into self-isolation when Mr Johnson tested positive for coronavirus; 
  • Boris Johnson is not taking any phone calls or receiving official papers as he recuperates from coronavirus at Chequers, Downing Street said; 
  • Government advisers criticised the 'all or nothing' approach to lockdown and said there is no evidence that sunbathing presents a transmission risk;
  • It was revealed the UK has missed three chances to participate in an EU scheme to buy huge quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Europe took its first tentative steps towards a return to normality as some countries re-opened businesses
At the Downing Street briefing tonight, Rishi Sunak said the UK was facing 'tough times and there will be more to come'
At the Downing Street briefing tonight, Rishi Sunak said the UK was facing 'tough times and there will be more to come'

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