Responding to the ONS’ estimate that GDP fell by 2% from January until the end of March, and 5.8% in March, Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money, said:
“As GDP continues to fall policymakers will be increasingly tempted to accelerate the easing of emergency public health measures in order to get the economy growing again. There is a clear tension between this dash for growth and public health, as illustrated by the government’s eagerness to get workers back to workplaces regardless of whether it is safe.
“The evidence shows that the vast majority of the public think we should worry more about people’s health and wellbeing than GDP growth during this crisis. The government should not pay too much attention to today’s statistics and instead put public health ahead of private wealth.”
Today’s GDP figures come after YouGov polling commissioned by Positive Money published this week found that more than 8 in 10 Britons think the UK should prioritise the health and wellbeing of citizens over economic growth during the coronavirus crisis.
- More information about Positive Money’s polling on GDP can be found here: https://positivemoney.org/2020/05/new-polling-only-12-want-uk-to-prioritise-economic-growth-over-wellbeing/
- Positive Money published a report this week which called for the ONS to stop publishing GDP figures and for policymakers to instead place more emphasis on a wider dashboard of wellbeing indicators, in order to save lives and the environment. More information about the report can be found here: https://positivemoney.org/2020/05/stop-publishing-growth-stats-to-save-people-and-planet-report/
- 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
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