Friday, 30 Oct 2020

Michael Portillo questions ‘cost of human life’ in controversial lockdown rant on BBC QT

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Michael Portillo explained no government in the world has attempted to calculate how much is worth spending on the coronavirus pandemic. He claimed that due to the “ruin” of the lockdown, it may not have been worth “the lives we may have saved”. He told Question Time panelists: “At no point has the Government or any government anywhere in the world tried to calculate what it’s worth spending.

“We’ve shied away from the question of what human life is worth.

“It’s too dangerous a subject.

“Of course we do do this in many other contexts.

“If we’re going to build a bypass we say, ‘how many lives is it going to save and is it worth doing?’

“But in this context, we haven’t.

“I’m pretty sure that the money that’s been spent, the ruin that’s been brought, the mental health issues that have arisen, the cancellation of the cancer operations, the number of people who have developed other diseases, the mortality of those people who have not been treated.

“I’m pretty sure all of that is not worth the lives we may have saved.

“But no one is willing to calculate that.

“I think at some point unless we have a vaccine soon is say, ‘this thing is going to be around and we will them for have to think who is going to live with it and who is going to be excluded from it’.”

His comments come as the pace of the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed considerably and is far below what experts had hoped for, new figures show.

Gross National Product (GDP) was up by 2.1 percent during August, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It was the fourth consecutive month of growth, after the economy took a serious hit during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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But it is less than half of what experts had expected, and a major slowdown since July.

Analysts expected that GDP would increase by 4.6 percent, according to a consensus taken by Pantheon Macroeconomics.

In July, GDP was up by 6.4 percent, and in June it rose by 9.1 percent, according to ONS data.

The Government invested hundreds of millions of pounds to get the economy back on its feet in August, including promising to pay for half a restaurant bill during parts of the month.

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