Shadow Chancellor calls for more support as OBR warns on economic impact
Anneliese Dodds (pictured), Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, has called on the government to do more to protect the economy from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Dodds made her call after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the economy could shrink by a third during this quarter as the COVID-19 lockdown continues.
It also warned that unemployment could hit 10%, and the national deficit could balloon by over £200bn.
The figures are drawn from the OBR’s “Coronavirus reference scenario” which has outlined how the economy and the public finances could be affected by a three-month shutdown.
Dodds said: “Behind these very concerning figures lie many businesses which have gone bust and many people who have lost their jobs.
“Labour has been working constructively with government on its economic support package.
“It is clear that additional action needs to be taken to increase the take-up of the different measures.
“We have called for urgent action in relation to the loans scheme in particular, as take-up is worryingly low.
“It is absolutely critical that government now does all it can to minimise the depth and length of the economic impact from necessary anti-coronavirus measures.”
The OBR is clear that this is not a forecast – but instead an ‘illustrative scenario’ that explores the possible impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the public finances.