• rmacculloch

Gotcha! The PM has been caught out on the relation between virus restrictions & economic activity

For two years the PM, Finance Minister and prominent health commentators like Prof. Baker insisted that a strong "public health response" to Coronavirus - in terms of strict restrictions - and a strong economy are fully aligned. The Finance Minister repeated the line, "A strong public health response has given us a strong economic response" and Prof. Baker wrote in the British Medical Journal, "Here we describe the potential benefits of using an elimination strategy to minimize the negative health and economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic".

So today marks a big day. Today is the day that the PM has formally argued the opposite. Namely that restrictions aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus are a brake on the economy, not an accelerator. Yes, today the PM has fully reversed herself. She has asserted that, in spite of the drop in quarterly GDP figures reported last week, next quarter things will be looking better in terms of GDP. Why? Because in her words:

"That's for a number of factors; the reopening of the borders, the fact that… in this next quarter, we won't see the same impact of Omicron and those restrictions" she told AM on Monday.