Government must take urgent action to protect sectors at permanent risk from the downturn

12 June 2020

The ONS has today announced that monthly GDP in April fell by 20.4%, heralding a likely steep economic recession.


Prospect has worked with the government to help shape its various support measures but those measures, inadequate in places as they were, look like ending soon.

Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy responded to today’s news:

“The catastrophic drop in GDP is only a taste of the economic pain coming and it will inevitably be followed by extensive job losses. A successful recovery will hinge on decisions made now, they must not be made in a Whitehall bunker but in consultation with unions and sector employers.

“The repeated ‘we cannot save every job’ warning from the government is trite and unhelpful. The focus should be on how many jobs and sectors we can save and that means keeping the economic activism that brought furlough into the next phase. Multinationals are already saying that job losses in the UK will be more severe than other countries which have extended support into next year and beyond.

“Sectors such as heritage, theatre and aviation have been effectively closed on government instruction and there is no real plan to reopen them, or to support them through a prolonged period of closure. Permanent damage to these sectors would do untold harm both to the economic recovery and to civic life. If the state requires you to close, the state must make you a priority to help or save.

“Job losses can be temporary but only if the industries themselves survive: no industry= no jobs. There must be no return by the government to ‘light touch’.”