Mohammad Yasin MP writes:
Billions spent on track and trace that was not fit for purpose and PPE contracts that did not deliver, locking down in both waves too late (to name but a few) but it’s the public who will have to pick up the bill for all of the Government's pandemic mistakes.
We've just 37 days until Britain leaves the single market and the customs union - the biggest single change in the country's trading status we've seen in 40 years. And yet the Chancellor did not once mention Brexit during his spending review statement.
The Office for Budget Responsibility, which produces independent forecasts alongside the Chancellor’s statement, said current projections assumed an “orderly transition” to a trade deal between the UK and the EU. It warned that if the UK came out of the transition period on December 31 without a new deal with Brussels, GDP would take a further 2 per cent hit in the second quarter of 2021 and continue to be 1.5 per cent lower until 2024.
And this week, The governor of the Bank of England warned that the economic cost of a no-deal Brexit would be bigger in the long term than the damage caused by Covid-19. Perhaps this double hit is why the DWP has been planning for up to 4m jobless as a worse-case scenario.
Today we needed some honesty on the cost of Brexit - deal or no deal and action to recover jobs, retrain workers and rebuild business, with a relentless focus on jobs and growth to get the economy back on its feet. I’m afraid Rishi Sunak's Spending Review fell well short.