Home Business NewsBusinessBanking News Lord Darling criticises the government over Covid-19 handling

Lord Darling criticises the government over Covid-19 handling

by LLB Reporter
14th Apr 20 4:28 pm

The former Chancellor, Lord Alistair Darling has spoken out and said during the lockdown “we have to do whatever it takes to keep the economy going.”

Lord Darling spearheaded Labour’s 2008 response to the financial crisis with the former Labour leader Gordon Brown.

When asked how long the economy could survive the coronavirus lockdown, he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s The Emma Barnett Show, “Well there’s a limit, but actually nobody knows what it is because we’ve not been here before.

“The problem we’ve got today is that we’re not yet on top of this epidemic, we don’t know how long it is going to last and the very fact that we don’t know whether we’re going to have a lockdown continuing for three weeks or maybe beyond that, at least to some extent demonstrates the scale of the problem that we’ve got.

“What I would say to you though is, the government has no alternative but to see this out, both in financial terms, economic terms as well as in health terms, because the cost of not doing so would be absolutely horrific.”

He raised concerns over the importance of testing people to tackle coronavirus, he said, “I can’t see how you can deal with this until you have testing of pretty much most of the population, otherwise you don’t know who’s got it, you don’t know who’s had it.”

Lord Darling criticised the government and said the government need “concentrate on the actual delivery” of its policies in response to Covid-19.

Speaking on loans for small businesses Lord Darling said there is “clearly a problem” there and called on the government to “break the log jam.”

He said, “We need when this is over to be able to get the economy up and running again. That means there’s got to be businesses…

“It’s going to be difficult, but the more we allow the system to fail or be impaired, the steeper the hill you’ve got to climb when you come out of it.”

He said it is a “complete false choice” to chose between health and the economy, the two are “related.”

“The two things are inextricably linked and indeed if we don’t deal with the spread of this virus, there’s a risk it’ll come back and get us in a second or third wave.

“Which is why it’s important that it’s dealt with, that we don’t make mistakes, we don’t rush into getting ourselves into a situation where we think it’s alright, but it’s not really, and at the same time I’m afraid we have to do whatever it takes to keep the economy going.”

He also said the government must “share” some of their “thinking” over the coronavirus lockdown exit strategy, adding, “I think you’ve got to give people hope and if people don’t have hope then they will lose faith.”

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