With the announcement of ‘Plan B’ restrictions expected imminently, a study conducted by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has unveiled that the measures, which include the imposition of vaccine passports and work from home guidelines, could cost the British economy £4 billion a month. Toby, quoted in the article below, has said that part of “the financial cost would be the constant demand from petty officials to see evidence of our vaccination status”. The Express has the story.
Boris Johnson is expected to announce the introduction of new restrictions against Covid at some point in the next 24 hours. A Government source told the Guardian that “new Covid rules are imminent” after a video emerged of Downing Street staff laughing about a Christmas party held last year.
Reports suggest that Mr Johnson could reintroduce work from home guidelines and introduce Covid vaccine passports.
Three senior Whitehall officials told the Financial Times that the Government has decided it will impose these winter ‘Plan B’ measures.
But new analysis by the IEA has revealed that these measures would have a damning impact on the British economy, at a time when the financial recovery from previous lockdowns is already pulling at taxpayers’ pockets.
The think tank has predicted that the restrictions could add fresh costs of £4 billion every month.
Julian Jessop, Economics Fellow at the IEA, said: “Even without a full national lockdown, the additional Covid restrictions apparently being considered in Whitehall could easily knock two percent off GDP – costing the UK economy £4 billion a month – and force the taxpayer to stump up billions more to prevent a new wave of bankruptcies and job losses.”
It is also understood that the costs of new measures would not stop at the economy.
Toby Young, Editor of the Daily Sceptic, said other impacts will be “even worse” than that on the economy.
He told the Express: “It is right to recognise the ruinous economic impact of ‘Plan B’, but even worse than the financial cost would be the constant demand from petty officials to see evidence of our vaccination status.
“Britain is not and never should be a ‘papers’ please’ country.”
Jessop added: “[The economic cost] is on top of all the social costs and harms to people’s wellbeing and liberties, as well as the risk of further disruption to children’s education.
“Some will argue that this would be a fair price to pay to clamp down on Omicron. However, this would require much stronger evidence that the new variant is more deadly, not just more transmissible.
“This is a particularly high bar to clear in the U.K., where most experts agree that the population has now acquired a high degree of immunity due to past infections and from the vaccine booster programme.”
Worth reading in full.