Coronavirus recovery: Johnson has to square the circle between traditional Tory values and demands to tax and spend | Politics News

Another day, another announcement on job losses.

On Monday it was Pret A Manger‘s turn to announce lay-offs as the food-to-go chain warned it would have to close 30 stores and lose “1,000 plus jobs” if sales of sandwiches and take-out soup don’t get back to at least half of their pre-coronavirus levels by September.

With turnover in its stores at quarter of normal levels, Pret is burning through more than £20m in cash a month.

It is an all too familiar story in an economy that has been ravaged by coronavirus. Job losses in the coming months could enter the millions – levels not seen since the 1980s – as the economic fall-out of the public health crisis hits our high streets, our hospitality industry, our manufacturing and aviation sectors.

Boris Johnson, pitching himself as a modern day incarnation of the US President Franklin D Roosevelt, promised

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Markets look to economic recovery and vaccine hopes

European markets are set for a bounce on Monday morning as investors focus on the prospect of economic recovery and progress on potential coronavirus drugs, shrugging off concerns about a further acceleration of the pandemic.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 86 points higher at 6,243, Germany’s DAX is expected to jump by around 252 points to 12,780 and France’s CAC 40 is set to climb by around 98 points to 5,105, according to IG data.

Stocks in Europe look set to follow the trend set in Asia overnight as mainland Chinese stocks rallied on bullish sentiment, with the Shanghai composite surging more than 4% to lead gains.

The European Commission said Friday that conditional approval had been granted for Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir to be used in the EU, making it the first authorized treatment for the virus in the region. The Sunday Times newspaper then reported that the

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The shape of the recovery is not given, but must be decided

Where is the UK in managing the economic impact of Covid-19? This week, Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, gave a fascinating answer to this question: “There is a debate about which letter of the alphabet will best describe the path of the economy, with some scepticism about the V-shaped . . . path in the Bank’s May Monetary Policy Report. It is early days, but my reading of the evidence is so far, so V.”

I was among those sceptics. So let us examine what Mr Haldane is saying. He is dividing the impact of Covid-19 into four metaphorical quarters. The first is the initial impact of the virus; the second is the short-term recovery; the third consists of second-round effects on spending and employment; and the fourth is the longer-run impact.

The first quarter summary is clear: “Compared with the fourth quarter of

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Calls for green bank mount amid UK recovery plans

Business groups, economists and local leaders have urged ministers to create a “Green Infrastructure Bank” as part of Boris Johnson’s state-led recovery from coronavirus to ensure that efforts to stimulate the economy do not overlook the UK’s climate targets.

The push comes after green groups criticised the prime minister’s £5bn in new infrastructure spending announced earlier this week for being too light on green measures.

“We really need a national investment bank,” said Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. “It can have a very powerful effect, help bring down the cost of capital, and allow the private sector to come in.”

The rationale is to have a dedicated institution that could help finance climate-related projects that might otherwise struggle to access affordable capital, such as early-stage tech projects.

Lord Stern, who authored the UK’s official report on the economics of climate change

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