Keeping schools closed delivers a double blow to productivity

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed to “good solid British common sense” as he attempted to get the UK back to work this week. But the edict left many scratching their heads by urging the reopening of swathes of industry while schools remain closed.

The 5.3 million workers in the UK’s manufacturing and construction industries – many of whom are parents – are being “positively encouraged” to take up tools after lockdown, while childcare arrangements remain unclear.

Nurseries and schools are not slated to begin a phased reopening until at least June 1. Meanwhile the army of stay-at-home workers who have

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Keeping the over-70s indoors for a year would be an economic disaster

Breaking out official data for the over-70s is not possible, but given the triple lock, it’s hardly surprising that a recent report by the International Longevity Centre put the over-65s as the fastest growing consumer group in the country. It shows total spending for households aged 65 and over grew by 75pc from 2001 to 2018, driven by a 28pc rise in households over 65 during that period, as well as the policy tailwind.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the 4.2 million households aged between 65 and 74 last year spent £548 a week, not far off the

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The businesses keeping Britain’s economy running during lockdown

While most of the country spent the Easter weekend relatively safely at home in lockdown, millions were at work.

Many of these are public service workers such as those in the NHS. Every Thursday the country rightly takes to his downsteps and open windows to applaud these health professionals.

But there are also many millions of unsung key workers employed by private sector companies, often in unglamorous roles, who are crucial to the fight against coronavirus and in helping to keep the UK economy running even during the long weeks of the lockdown.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that

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