Chancellor Rishi Sunak needs something special to reverse the ugly reality

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WITH Rishi Sunak’s crucial Covid mini-Budget looming, our economic outlook is a smattering of the good — with plenty of the bad and more of the ugly.

The good news is the building sector has surged, way ahead of forecasts.

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And the Chancellor will help turbo-charge that with his £2billion green scheme which promises to be great news for Sun-reading plumbers and builders.

It’s good too that high streets have seen a huge boost since Super Saturday.

The bad news is it’s still only half last year’s level. There’s grim news on car sales too, down nearly 35 per cent.

And the ugly reality is really beginning to bite on jobs. Thousands were lost last week alone. Sandwich firm Pret a Manger is set to shed 1,000 more.

Uglier still, two in five firms will cut staff when the bailout ends in October. It is a pent-up tsunami of unemployment.

Mr Sunak has been a good crisis Chancellor so far. But he’ll need something special tomorrow.

CALM debate about race has been impossible in the volatile few weeks since George Floyd’s death.

The rage on the streets and online has made nuanced discussion impossible.

What a breath of fresh air, then, from the panellists at our Time For Change discussion, talking candidly about their experiences as black people in Britain and how to create greater equality.

While everyone should agree that of course black lives matter, some hardline politics of the Black Lives Matter movement itself have created division instead of unity around its central aim.

That is a huge own-goal. Because, as our panel says, it IS shocking that in 2020 racism still isn’t eradicated from football or from the police, despite ­substantial improvements in both.

It is shocking so few football managers or FA executives are black. That FTSE chiefs are overwhelmingly white.

It was illuminating to hear our guests wary of quick, simplistic fixes and ­“signals”, like the toppling of statues or anti-racist Instagram posts, as substitutes for effective action.

Read highlights of the fascinating discussion on Pages 4 and 5.

FAKE news on social media is no joke.

It should terrify us if mad Covid conspiracy theories convince almost a third of the nation to reject a vaccine, if one is released.

Their stupidity will destroy our chances of developing herd immunity and stopping the virus.

Those promoting “anti-vax” drivel have 57million followers, many of them denigrating professional news outlets and insisting they can just stay up to date on Facebook and Twitter instead.

That way lies not just madness but genuine danger.

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