Rishi Sunak reflects on school children ‘tragedy’ coronavirus pandemic has caused

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RISHI SUNAK has said every day of school missed by a child in the UK is a “tragedy” due to the impact it will have on their futures.

The Chancellor told Sky News he was glad the Government’s measured plan allowed schools to reopen on June 1 for some pupils. Mr Suank stressed his gratitude to the teachers across Britain that have made the return to school for children possible.

Mr Sunak said: “I personally think every day our children are not at school is a tragedy.

“It is obviously going to have an impact on their futures and that is why I am so glad as part of our measured and delivered plan we were able to reopen schools on June 1 for a number of pupils, especially our youngest children.

“I am so grateful to the teachers in the school for making it a possibility because it is so vital for the country.”

Last month the Chancellor issued a grim forecast for the UK as he warned of a significant recession following the British economy shrinking by two percent in the first quarter of 2020.

Data published by the Office of National Statistics showed that GDP fell by two percent across the first three months of 2020. 

An even more alarming statistic was the fact GDP fell by 5.8 percent solely in March 2020.

Mr Sunak said: “The first quarter was that bad based on just a few days of the impact of coronavirus in March.

“So it is very likely that the UK is facing a significant recession at the moment and this year.”

He added: “I think it is premature right now to speculate too far into the future.

“We are living in a time of economic uncertainty, that is very clear.

“Of course, it is my job to think about everything but what we are thinking about foremost at the moment is protecting people’s health.

“That is why it is still important that we have a plan in place for social distancing.

“But also to protect people’s jobs and support business at this time.

“We need to make sure we can preserve as much of that as possible until the restrictions are lifted and we can get our lives back to normal.

“That is what is occupying all of our time at the moment.”

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