Campaigners at Recovery are hoping the government suffers a rebellion of over 40 MPs, thus putting Boris on notice that he does not have a majority for a future lockdown. At the same time Downing Street is trying to game raised expectations with supposed fears of a 100-strong rebellion. Take the latter figure with a pinch of salt. Boris nevertheless has invited MPs to join him for a Zoom meeting at 6pm ahead of the vote result expected an hour later. He will try and charm rebels angry at the lack of a real cost benefit analysis evidencing the need for strict Tiers.
Over at Civitas they have produced a timely working paper today titled “The Cost of the Cure“. The paper tries to quantify the estimated costs that have been incurred. Accepting that whilst “…many of these estimates rely on certain counterfactual assumptions which are by their nature unprovable. In all cases, the assumptions and estimates have been set out; and in all cases these assumptions and estimates have been cautious.” Sector by sector, Tim Knox and Jim McConalogue identify economic black holes of:
Other costs include:
A new report from the IEA and CIVITAS outlines a range of deregulatory and tax-cutting measures that could drive the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
Julian Jessop, co-author of REBOOTING BRITAIN – How the UK can recover from coronavirus, says many have argued the crisis has demonstrated the need for permanent increases in government intervention and public spending – but this would be wrong:
“The state has had to step in to protect businesses and jobs while the economy has been shut down. But with the public health emergency now easing, the government should move aside and let markets work properly again.”
The report says measures such as scrapping planning and occupational rules, whilst revisiting other employment obligations, could hasten the recovery. It also suggests planned increases in the National Living Wage need a fundamental rethink, whilst warning that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now proving to be both expensive and distortionary.
In tonight’s DEFINITE ARTICLE, the IEA’s Syed Kamall discusses all this and more with Julian and his fellow co-author Len Shackleton.
JOIN IN THE DEBATE – LIVE at 6 pm – HERE or on YouTube.