A think-tank boss has warned that further restrictions would put hundreds of thousands of people at risk of long-term poverty.
Dame Philippa Stroud, a former highly-respected Tory adviser and now chief of the Legatum Institute, wrote today in the Sunday Telegraph that some 900,000 people slipped into poverty during previous lockdowns and that that number would creep up.
She said the rhetoric from government was already producing a disproportionate impact on those in the lowest-paid jobs.
“These interventions hurt people. Just a whisper from Government can destabilise businesses,” she wrote.
A number of organisations including the CBI have accused the UK government of an effective “lockdown by stealth” with various calls to avoid hospitality venues and work from home where possible.
The impact on consumer-facing businesses has already been felt, with a number of small firms in the City of London telling City A.M. they feared the worst without government support.
A recent £6,000 grant to all hospitality and retail businesses is unlikely to cover costs for any significant length of time.
Many of those who may lose their jobs include people on low paid work, from kitchen porters to office cleaners.
“I ask the Government to ensure that as they contemplate further restrictions, they are open with the British people about the active choice they would be making to damage the lives of our most vulnerable – those who are doing all they can to work their way out of poverty,” Stroud wrote today.