United Kingdom hit with biggest economic collapse in more than 300 years

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While the U.S economic system shrank last year by the most important quantity in 74 years, the United Kingdom is battling its worst economic collapse in over three centuries, lengthy through the time American colonies have been nonetheless British in the 1700s, no because of the coronavirus pandemic

“It’s almost crippling, really. We’ve had to be really careful, and a bit you know inventive to survive,” Charlie Foster told CBS News‘ Holly Williams.

Foster, whose enterprise has been badly hit like 1000’s of different individuals, instructed CBS he would not suppose the enterprise he’s been doing for 4 generations might survive one other yr if issues proceed this manner. “Another year, no, we wouldn’t be able to survive that long,” Foster mentioned.

Half of the more than 50 workers of Foster’s household fruit and vegetable enterprise in London are actually on furlough, and there’s no finish in sight.

In a rich a part of Central London, close to the place modern boutiques and homes that promote for tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} are situated, individuals now obtain groceries and meals at a meals financial institution. Many of them mentioned they was once thought of center class.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d ever come down here, having to come into a food bank. I used to give people money on the streets,” Jane Austin instructed CBS.

Austin was a chef working in upscale venues earlier than the pandemic struck. Now she mentioned she has to decide on between heating her condo or shopping for meals.

“I felt embarrassed, to be quite honest, I felt, this was one of my lowest points, like to come and ask for food,” Austin mentioned.

“Ironically, this food bank is in one of the wealthiest areas of London,” Williams mentioned.

“It’s ironic, it’s absolutely horrendous. I’ve paid taxes, and this is what I’m getting for my taxes. It’s just heartache and pain,” Austin replied.

Dr. Miatta Fahnbulleh, an economist, instructed CBS News the British authorities’s sluggish response to the pandemic, alongside with Brexit, created an ideal storm of economic ache.

“There are families that literally cannot feed their children. I think as we see more images of this, there will be a sense that you know our government are letting people down, and it is unacceptable,” Fahnbulleh mentioned.

Covid-19, which triggered the pandemic final yr, is believed to have originated in Wuhan China early, however a brand new variant of the coronavirus surfaced in the UK late final yr, making issues worse – each the economic system and the general public well being.

The new variant, already discovered in the US, has been spreading rapidly and scientists imagine the virus is 30% to 70% deadlier than the unique pressure.

As a outcome, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted final month, “it is therefore more important that we all follow the rules and stay at home”

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