We're in the deepest recession in UK history — but there's a glimmer of hope in the grim data

Ray of hope 

WE were warned bad times were around the corner. Now they’re well and truly here. 

Not only is the UK formally in recession. It’s in the deepest recession in UK history, the deepest of any G7 economy, and the deepest since the invention of Gross Domestic Product. 

There’s a glimmer of hope buried in the grim data, though. 

In June, when the Government began to loosen lockdown restrictions, the economy grew an astonishing 8.7 per cent. That’s the biggest month-on-month jump since records began. 

It’s clear that we DO stand a chance of a relatively swift economic recovery – but only if Brits start going about their pre-Covid lives sooner rather than later. 

And with hospital cases down 96 per cent since the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS is in no danger of being overwhelmed. 

Of course Covid isn’t over and we can’t be complacent. But Government scientists are attracted to long-term lockdowns because they’re trained to think about public health in the narrowest possible terms.

The rest of us, though, understand that in the long run, mass poverty and unemployment kills just as surely as any disease.

It’s time to get Britain working.

Grade Britain

OUR sympathies are with A-level students facing uncertainty today. 

Given the unprecedented situation has wreaked havoc with their exams, no solution is going to be perfect.

And so we offer broad support to the Government and its “triple lock” strategy, which aims to give the vast majority of English and Welsh pupils the results they deserve.

It makes much more sense than the indiscriminately clunky Scottish strategy — which saw thousands of kids miss out on good grades, until Nicola Sturgeon was forced to make a humiliating U-turn and bump grades up.

We are concerned, though, about the long-term prospects of school leavers across the home nations. If Rishi Sunak keeps incentivising businesses to take on apprenticeships, the class of 2020 stands a chance of gainful employment plugging Britain’s many skills gaps.

But if the Chancellor drops the ball, the future of British teenagers looks a lot less rosy: Evidence from previous crises indicates that the under-25s will bear the brunt of the job and pay cuts when this recession gets into full swing.

Come on, Rishi. Don’t let Generation Corona down.

Roast turkeys

IT’S not unusual to be accosted by Christmas music while shopping in November.

But the Surrey store which stacked its shelves with Xmas goods as we sweltered in a record-breaking run of 34C heat has jumped the gun slightly.

Our sympathies are with you, Santa.

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