Rishi Sunak must give the economy a boost — not a kicking while it’s down

Resist, Rishi

AMID all the back-slapping about the vaccine roll-out, and hopes of returning freedoms, it cannot be forgotten that the economy is still in intensive care.

The Prime Minister’s roadmap will be critical to financial recovery, but so too will Rishi Sunak’s Budget.

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The Chancellor has played a blinder through the pandemic by keeping the fragile economy on life support, but a wrong move now could pull the plug on the crucial bounce-back.

The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies is the latest to warn that any hike in taxes in the Budget could kill off the recovery before it has a chance to get going.

At the same time, there is yet more evidence of the perilous state of the hospitality and entertainment industries, which desperately need to re-open soon — and with an extension to the VAT reduction.

No tax hike can immediately fill the black hole in Britain’s finances caused by Covid, but a strong economy could do it over time.

Those Brits lucky enough to have saved a combined £125billion over the past year will also help, but not if there are no businesses left for them to spend that money on.

The economy needs a boost, Rishi, not a kicking while it’s down.

Gift of the jab

THE PM is right to hail the heroes behind the incredible vaccination numbers.

They include thousands of selfless volunteers in our Jabs Army — and we are proud to add new recruit John Barrowman to their ranks.

The former Doctor Who actor is in awe of those giving up their time to help inoculate the vulnerable.

He can’t wait to get the jab himself, like his parents, and knows it is the only safe way out of the pandemic.

So it is worrying to hear of cases like the Midlands hospital trust where only a third of black healthcare workers have had the vaccine, especially since ethnic minorities may be at increased risk from the virus.

They need the protection of the jab, not fake news and half-baked conspiracy theories peddled by crackpot anti-vaxxers.

Red-faced list

HOW can we get the vaccine roll-out so right, yet make the hotel quarantine system look so ham-fisted?

The first day of curbs on arrivals from high-risk nations bordered on farcical.

Passengers from the 33 so-called “red-list” states said they had freely mingled on flights and in the airport with travellers from other countries — long before they were escorted under tight security to spend ten days locked up in hotels.

The Government must not let this turn into another track-and-trace fiasco.


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