Responding to figures published today by the ONS which showed GDP grew by just 0.1% in the three months to February, Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money said:
“There is a risk that as growth figures get worse the government will be pressured to relax Coronavirus prevention measures to get the economy going again, at the expense of lives. Doing so would be dangerous. The government needs to put the health of the public ahead of the growth of the economy.
“Emergency public health measures which save lives must not be relaxed regardless of the impact they have on economic growth. There is no evidence that lower economic growth in itself leads to increases in mortality. Rather, whether or not mortality will decrease or increase depends on what measures governments take to protect the most vulnerable.
“The Covid-19 crisis forces us to reconsider our use of GDP as a measure to judge policymaking on. Instead we must prioritise far more useful measures which reflect health and wellbeing across the whole of society. Right now the most important measure is the number of lives we are able to save.”
- Positive Money campaigns for a money and banking system which supports a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Positive Money is a not-for-profit company funded by charitable trusts and foundations, as well as small donations from its network of over 65,000 supporters. www.positivemoney.org
- Positive Money will be publishing a new report on the limits of economic growth in May
- For any questions or for interviews with a spokesperson please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07817765517