Delaying roadmap could cost 2 per cent of GDP, says IEA expert



Mark Littlewood quoted in the Daily Express

In the Media

Marc Glendening writes for Conservative Home

Responding to reports that the government is set to delay the lifting of England’s remaining Covid restrictions by up to four weeks, Mark Littlewood, Director General at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The government aren’t just moving the goalposts. They are playing a wholly different sport.

“Initially we were told lockdowns were needed to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed. Now the justification is a rise in an infection rate for a variant of the virus, even though virtually every vulnerable person has been fully vaccinated.

“The economic cost of postponing freedom day could amount to £1bn a week.

“Many pubs, restaurant, bars and other venues are at breaking point. More uncertainty and a delay to the roadmap could deliver the final blow to an industry banking on the summer to claw back losses.

“While the sectors that are still severely restricted account for less than 5 per cent of the overall economy, and most are already open to some degree, the direct cost of postponing 21 June could still be 2 per cent of GDP.”


Notes to editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715942731

IEA spokespeople are available for further comment and interview.

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