The UK has the highest death toll across Europe after surpassing 40,000 but the Government is still moving forward with plans to try and recover the British economy.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned today there will be “more of this wretched COVID still to come” as he met with his Cabinet.
Despite fears of more outbreaks of the deadly virus, Mr Johnson claimed “huge numbers” of people are now returning to offices and “quite right too”.
Mr Johnson said: “People are going back to the office in huge numbers across our country and quite right too.
“And though of course we know that there is still going to be more of this disease, this wretched COVID still to come, and although we know there will be more outbreaks, we are also absolutely confident that we are going to be able to deal with those outbreaks and bit by bit this incredible country is getting back on its feet and recovering from this crisis.”
Chris Whitty threatens to quit over COVID plan
Boris Johnson and Chris Whitty on daily briefings
However, Professor Chris Whitty – the chief medical officer – has threatened to resign if the Government continues to push for workers to return to offices.
Professor Whitty is said to be hindering the Government’s plans to get workers back into work rather than working from home.
But cabinet sources are worried if they push for staff to return to town and city centres, Professor Whitty could opt to resign.
This would cause massive damage to public trust in the government.
Chris Whitty opposed to government’s COVID plan
However, a Department of Health source rubbished claims Professor Whitty would quit.
They said: “Chris is not threatening to resign and hasn’t threatened to resign.”
Back in July, Professor Whitty urged for measures introduced at the beginning of the pandemic to continue for a prolonged period of time.
He said: “There are some things which we started right at the beginning, which absolutely have to continue for a prolonged period of time, washing hands, isolation, household isolation.
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UK coronavirus cases mapped
“And then we’ve added to that things like contact tracing, most recently face coverings.
“And these are issues of, and issues around distancing, which have been varied but the reality is distancing remains an important part of this mix and how it’s interpreted in different governments has evolved.
“But it has not gone away. So, all of those need to continue for a long period of time.”
The UK is set to enter the worst recession in history as millions of businesses were forced to close during lockdown.
Boris Johnson wants people to go back to offices
According to Nickie Aiken, Tory MP for Cities of London and Westminster, believe there will be as many as 50,000 people losing their jobs in the city.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Almost half of the £10billion annual spend in the West End is from overseas travellers and then the lack of office workers who have no been back at their desks since March, that has a huge effect on the overall turnover of West End shops and hospitality.
“Between about 70-80 percent – you’re basically looking at about 50,000 job losses, retail job losses in the West End retail alone.”
Rishi Sunak announced plans for £30bn tax grab
In order to curb the looming recession, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced plans for a £30 billion tax grab.
Senior Tories warned that the plan would hurt, not help, the UK’s efforts to bounce back from a crippling recession.
The Chancellor is said to be considering a huge fiscal raid in this autumn’s Budget to plug the gaping hole in public finances after record spending on coronavirus.
The policies are reportedly poised to target middle classes and wealthier people with increased taxes.
Published at Tue, 01 Sep 2020 13:32:00 +0000