No trade-off between health and economy, Sunak says

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he did not see a trade-off between measures to combat the health impact of the coronavirus and the country’s economic wellbeing, after government forecasters estimated output could fall by a third.

“The single most important thing we can do for the health of our economy is to protect the health of our people,” Sunak said at the government’s daily news conference.

“It’s not a case of choosing between the economy and public health – common sense tells us that doing so would be self-defeating,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated the economy could plunge by 35% in the three months to June with unemployment more than doubling to 10%, before bouncing back if restrictions on public life to slow the spread of the coronavirus are lifted.

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