Published: 23rd Jul 2020

A cross-party group of MPs has said it is ‘astonished’ that the government failed to plan for how it might deal with the economic impacts of a pandemic, like COVID-19. In a wide-ranging report published today (23 July), the public accounts committee said the last pandemic simulation exercise, Exercise Cygnus took place in 2016. According to the report, it was focused around health issues and added it is ‘astounding that the government did not think about the potential impact on the economy’ and that the that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was not even aware of the exercise. And despite the first reported case of coronavirus being confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer in England on 31 January, the Treasury did not announce plans for significant funding to support businesses and individuals until the budget on 11 March, and it did not become clear to the … (To read the full article, subscribe below)