Sajid Javid champions growth over austerity in coronavirus comeback

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid has said the government should not rush to cut public spending in response to the economic hit of coronavirus.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, he said the Treasury should wait until national income returns to its pre-pandemic level before it tries to balance spending.

“It would be wrong to try and cut back on spending at this point, I think it would just blow out any kind of growth that we had over the next few months,” he said.

The former Cabinet minister, who resigned from the Treasury in February, instead suggested boosting the economy via “quick and effective” tax cuts and major infrastructure projects.

His recommendations are part of a joint report with the Centre for Policy Studies, a right-leaning think tank.

Asked how long the economy might take to recover, Mr Javid told Julia it was a “very, very difficult” question to answer, referring to the recent grim figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The data showed that economic activity dropped by 20.4 per cent in April - the largest drop in a single month since records began in 1997.

The Bromsgrove MP said: “That’s about 18 years of growth gone in two months and so we’ve got a big mountain to climb.”

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