Latest GDP figures

Today's latest GDP figures show the significant impact the UK economy has experienced as a result of the pandemic.

The government is committed to doing everything reasonably practical to protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods in the months ahead. 

  • Today’s figures show that the economy has experienced a serious shock as a result of the pandemic, which has been felt by countries around the world. 
  • While there are some positive signs of the economy’s resilience over the winter, we all know that the current lockdown continues to have a significant impact on many people and businesses. That’s why the government is determined to do everything reasonably practical to protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods.
  • At the Budget the chancellor will set out the next stage of the government's Plan for Jobs, and the support which will be provided through the next phase of the pandemic.


Jim said…
"The government is committed to doing everything reasonably practical"

No, It isnt. We have a vaccine, infact we have 3, yet still we await an exit plan from lockdown.

We have mixed messages (again) from the government on holidays this year, ensuring those sectors who rely on tourism are being crippled. Other businesses cant plan anything. A good ex forces friend of mine has now permanently closed his café, almost 15 years of building up a reputation down the drain.

This virus isnt really that dangerous (i know thats a bold statement) but look at the governments own advert campaign. 1 in 3 wont even know they have it, most others experience only mild symptoms. For the majority of people the real danger of this virus was never really catching it, the real danger was which vunerable person are you going to pass it on to.

We have vaccines, using a combination of Isolate and vaccinate the vunerable ONLY, then we can open up what is left of the economy.

Then we can start to deal with the neglected medical issues and the extra mental health cases caused as a direct result of the governments lockdowns.

Chris Whiteside said…
Whoever had been in government at this time was never going to win. They were always going to be accused of not doing enough against the pandemic by many relatives of those who died and of over-reacting by many of those who lost their jobs or businesses.

There is no right answer and I don't think any government in the world has handled this perfectly.

I have friends who think as Jim does that the lockdown has been too strict and too long and done too much damage to the economy, and others who think exactly the opposite, that the government did not lock down soon enough, strictly enough or long enough.

The plan to get out of lockdown will be announced on 22nd February.

We're going to be picking up the pieces for several years.

The government's chief scientific advisor got a huge amount of flak early in the pandemic for suggesting we would be lucky to lose only 20,000 people. I'm not going to open myself to the same sort of attack by saying how many I think we're going to lose on current policies but we've already lost more than five times the figure he quoted.

However, if the government's policies had been substantially less restrictive, I think we would have had more than twice the number of excess deaths, not just from COVID but from side effects such as the impact on the NHS, and it is more likely than not that the early "worst case" estimates that we might lose half a million people would have come true.

And I don't get the sense that the majority of the British people wanted to take that risk.

Nor do I get the sense that they will put up with permanent lockdown.

They will expect a gradual loosening over the next few months as the vulnerable groups are more protected and infections and deaths come down.

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