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P
Pa
May 24, 2020

Johnson must ‘treat the public like adults’: Osborne

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P
Pa
May 24, 2020

LONDON: The Prime Minister must “treat the public like adults” as Britain eases pandemic lockdown measures, George Osborne said.

The former chancellor of the exchequer has called on the government to set out its longer-term plan for the economy to instil confidence in the markets. In an interview with The Times, the former chancellor of the exchequer said Boris Johnson had to balance scientific and economic concerns.

He said any easing of pandemic measures would lead to more deaths, but economic hardship from lockdown measures would lead to suffering including cancer patients going without treatment.

“It’s not as simple as ‘follow the science’. There’s no simple answer here,” he was quoted as saying. “There’s no scientist in the world that can tell you how to handle a virus for which we have no vaccine.”

Johnson’s only option was to change gear by taking the public into his confidence, Osborne said. “In my experience of government, in the highest office as chancellor but also as a photocopy boy in Downing Street in the early Nineties, politicians have to lead and set out a plan and treat the public like adults,” he said.

Osborne, who now edits the Evening Standard newspaper, on Friday argued that economic recovery from the pandemic could be quicker than that which followed the global financial crisis, but added the government will have to make hard choices.