Saturday, March 21, 2020

Covid-19 Numbers Are Rising

On Friday, Italy recorded its highest day-to-day-rise in the number of deaths of people infected with Covid-19 – 627 to be precise, since the country surpassed China on Thursday as the nation with the most coronavirus-related fatalities. The total now stands at 4,032. 

And as infections spiral and deaths soar in many countries, their economies are slowly but surely collapsing. 

The UK is no different – but I am putting the country especially under the spotlight because its Tory government has announced unprecedented measures to fight the economic fallout of the coronavirus that are not seen elsewhere! 

The Boris Johnson government has just torn up 40 years of small-state, free market doctrine, first promising on Tuesday to spend a staggering £330 billion ($400 billion) – equivalent to 15% of its GDP – and then on Friday committing to pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month and with “no limit” on the funds available. 

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak (left) did not exaggerate when he said nothing like this had ever been done before. Even hardcore socialism usually stopped short of calling for the government to take on the payroll of private sector employers – now it’s Tory party policy! 

As he rightly put it, it is not only a health emergency – but it is also an economic emergency.

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