Next generation will bear brunt of coronavirus lockdown debt, minister warns

The economic burden of the coronavirus lockdowns and other restrictions will be borne by the next generation, a Treasury minister has acknowledged.

Tory frontbencher Lord Agnew of Oulton said he shared concerns raised at Westminster about the “humongous debt” being run up, with the imposition of tougher rules aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.

In addition to the huge costs of providing support, lockdowns also “throttle economic growth”, he told peers, which was why the Government had tried to avoid them if possible.

Lord Agnew made his comments in response to Conservative firmer minister Lord Robathan, who recently led a failed revolt to block the second national lockdown in England.

The Tory peer has been critical of the Government for not producing an impact analysis of the move, which he previously branded “a serious act of national self-harm”.

Pressing the minister in the upper chamber during a statement on the economy, Lord Robathan said: “Could he tell me how long it will take for our children to repay the humongous debt that we are running up.

“Will it be one decade, two decades, three decades or longer?”

Lord Agnew said he was also concerned about “the huge impact of indebtedness” that had gone onto the nation’s balance sheet.

The minister added: “Of course he is entirely right that the burden of this will be borne by the next generation – none of us sitting in this chamber.

“That is why we are so anxious to do everything possible to avoid these national lockdowns because they not only have the huge costs of supporting people but throttle economic growth.

Also Check:  Government announces two new coronavirus ‘megalabs’ set to open early 2021

“We are seeing the largest fall in economic activity in my lifetime certainly and maybe even longer.

“The key is that we need to come together to regrow the economy as quickly as possible because it will only be growth that will pay down this debt.”