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The Bank of England’s top economist today declared he wanted Londoners who had built up savings during the Covid lockdowns to spend them to help power the economic recovery.
Andy Haldane told the Evening Standard that people had saved up some £150 billion across the UK while shops, cinemas and pubs had been in lockdown.
He said: “I very much want as much of that as possible to be spent — that’s what creates the demand and the jobs to help those who may have lost their jobs, who may have suffered a cut in income as a result of the crisis.”
He said the capital had been hit harder than practically any other city in the world. Its recovery would be strong, he predicted, but much would depend on how many people continue to work from home.
Mr Haldane said it was crucial that demand in the private sector picked up before assistance from the Government could be scaled back and that more investment in education, skills, infrastructure and innovation was vital.
“The truth is, this country badly needs investment. Investment by the private sector, investment by the public sector,” he said. “That’s the conversation we need to have on the fiscal front. And that’s the conversation we need to be having on the economic front.”