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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak- Tough times ahead: ‘We can’t protect every business and every household.’

Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak at Downing Street media conference on 14th April 2020. Image: LMMNews screen grab.

Government sends out stark warning after financial watchdog anticipates loss of two million jobs

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is predicting that the coronavirus lockdown could leave more than two million people unemployed and shrink the economy by 35 per cent.

The financial watchdog thinks net public-sector borrowing would reach £273 billion, the largest single-year deficit since the Second World War.

At the latest Downing Street media conference, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, accepted that there were ‘tough times ahead’ and he also confirmed that the government ‘can’t protect every business and every household.’

Economists are suggesting the economic damage could be even worse.

Views vary that the emergency will cause the worst slump since the 1930s, or that the recession will be the worst in 300 years.

The British Chambers of Commerce has reported that a survey they’ve carried out of members indicates that only 2% of firms have successfully accessed emergency schemes to support the furloughing of their staff.

The Independent newspaper has been reporting a survey indicating that coronavirus impact does discriminate with people in ethnic minorities more likely to lose jobs and income.

The damage that coronavirus is doing to the British economy leads many of Wednesday’s papers:

 

 

Government says it will bring testing into all residents of care homes and their frontline health workers when the Daily Mail says 4,000 may have died in the UK care home sector.

Care home leaders have accused the government of vastly underestimating the deaths of elderly people from coronavirus.

With the government promising to organise testing, large care providers say the disease is likely to be circulating in more than 50% of nursing homes and mortality is much higher than indicated in official figures.

Three of the largest chains say there’ve been 620 deaths from Covid-19 in recent weeks.

But on Tuesday official statistics reported only 237 people died from coronavirus in care homes in two weeks:

 

 

Public Health England Medical Director Yvonne Doyle said the government is working towards including coronavirus deaths which take place outside of hospital in its daily figures,

She said they were working with the Office for National Statistics to speed up the information:

We just need to be absolutely clear that the cause of death that is attributed is correct and that is what takes time on the death certificate to get right,” she said. “But we would like to have much more rapid data, preferably on a daily basis, and that is what we are working towards.

 

Behind the daily statistics, the story of families losing more than one relative

Here are three examples of agonising tragedy for families in the UK.

In one, a mother father and daughter have all been killed by the virus.

In another a husband and wife have passed away within a fortnight of each other.

And there is the story of a 39 year old nurse dying while her husband is still critically ill in hospital.

US President Donald Trump says he has ordered the halting of all funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).

President Trump has complained that WHO had ‘failed in its basic duty’ to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

He accused the UN body of mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus after it emerged in China, and said it must be held accountable.

Mr Trump has also previously accused WHO of being biased towards China.

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