£6m borrowed for every Covid death: Economist calculates terrifying price UK's ...

So, now we know. Our reward for suffering 27 days of an additional lockdown is a more restrictive regime than the one we waved goodbye to on November 5.

Apart from the lucky 1 per cent who live in Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Scilly Isles, the introduction of the tier system will give us no more freedom to meet our friends and family.

For the second time this year, we have been sold a pig in a poke. In March, a three-week lockdown 'to flatten the curve' became a three-and-a-half-month lockdown to flatten the economy.

We now have a pre-Christmas circuit breaker that will no doubt last until Easter. If most of the country needs tougher regulations than before, you could be forgiven for thinking that the current lockdown isn't working. But it is.

Yesterday it was even announced that the UK's R number – the average number of people infected by somebody with the virus – has fallen below 1.

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Christopher Snowden claims the Government has 'laid waste' to the world's fifth-biggest economy on the basis of 'dubious projections'

Christopher Snowden claims the Government has 'laid waste' to the world's fifth-biggest economy on the basis of 'dubious projections'

Indeed, it has been evident for months now that every country that locks down sees a delay of a week or two before the number of new cases falls. But when they fall, they fall sharply.

Yet the Government seems blind to this, consumed by a pathological desire to promote lockdowns at the expense of less economically costly options.

Of course, it is true that lockdowns are the most effective way of reducing transmission of the virus in the absence of a vaccine. But where are the impact assessments and cost-benefit analyses to justify what has been done in the last eight months?

The Government has laid waste to the world's fifth-biggest economy on the basis of dubious projections from risk-averse academics whose jobs are secure no matter what.

Where are the 'reasonable worst-case scenarios' for unemployment, bankruptcies, debt, economic growth and mental health? They certainly haven't been made public. Yes, the Government has suggested they may publish them next week, but that is months too late.

For the truth is that the Government has stared like a wild-eyed fanatic at a single disease with a fatality rate of 0.6 per cent and an average age at death of 82 years, and cast all other considerations to the wind.

How many more months can we take? When the lockdown began, many economists were optimistic about the prospect of a V-shaped recovery.

The UK today recorded 16,022 more coronavirus cases, a 20.9 per cent fall on the 20,252 last week and an 8.7 per cent drop from yesterday¿s 17,555

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The UK today recorded 16,022 more coronavirus cases, a 20.9 per cent fall on the 20,252 last week and an 8.7 per cent drop from yesterday's 17,555

The 521 deaths announced in the last 24 hours are 1.9 per cent higher than the 511 last Friday and 4.6 per cent above the 498 figure yesterday

The 521 deaths announced in the last 24 hours are 1.9 per cent higher than the 511 last Friday and 4.6 per cent above the 498 figure yesterday

A crash was inevitable when the Government put businesses into temporary hibernation, but there were hopes that pent-up demand would see the economy shooting back in late spring.

Spring came and went and we were still in lockdown. The second quarter saw GDP fall by 20.4 per cent, the economy's steepest collapse since the Great Frost of 1709.

And when shops and hospitality finally reopened in July, despite an Eat Out to Help Out scheme costing £849million, the economy was still 8.2 per cent smaller in September than it had been in February.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now predicts GDP falling by between 10.6 per cent and 12 per cent in 2020, the

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