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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the UK would experience further difficult times as the country attempts to recover from the coronavirus crisis. While speaking to Sky News, Mr Sunak said: “I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here. “Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.
“But while there are difficult choices to be made ahead, we will get through this, and I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.”
The UK economy has shrunk a 20.4 percent compared to the first three months of the year.
This marks the first recession in the UK in over 11 years.
Mr Sunak also explained why he beleived the UK was hit so hard by the coronavirus lockdown.
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He said: “Social activity, going for a meal, cinema and shopping, those sort of things comprise such a larger share of our economy than they do for most of our European counterparts.
“In a situation where you have shut down all those industries for almost three months, a long period of time, it is, unfortunately, going to have an outsize impact on our economy.”
Mr Sunak also reflected on what this recession will mean for jobs across the UK.
He said: “The employment picture is difficult.
“100,000 of people have lost their jobs and many more will, that is incredibly sad.”
“That is why it is so important that we focus on trying to help those people and is why we outlined our plan for jobs in July.
“Whether it is through the job retention bonus, whether it is through initiatives like eat out to help out or the kickstart scheme for young people, I want to provide people with new opportunities.
Mr Sunak also hinted that despite the recession news there were still glimmers of hope for the future in Britain.
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He said:”What we do know is that there are promising signs,”
“There’s still work to do and even as we recover many people are going to lose their jobs, already have lost their jobs, and we need to make sure that we are constantly focused on providing new opportunities for those people.”
Mr Sunak admitted he did not have all the answers for how the UK would adjust to the new challenges of the future, including a second coronavirus wave, but insisted the Government had a new strategy for tackling the economic difficulties of the pandemic and would continue to make the best decisions possible.
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