Lord King Says We'll Be OK

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Former Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, says the UK is well-prepared to deal with the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic after 10 years of austerity.

The 72-year-old, who was governor of the Bank of England during the last Financial Crisis, said Britain is in a good position to take on large amounts of debt. 

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced £330 billion of state-backed loans and pledged around £40 billion in grants, tax breaks and wages subsidies. 

Lord King said: 'One of the benefits of being prudent in the last decade is that it is much easier to absorb a rise in the national debt. I don't think we should worry today about the extent to which the national debt will rise, as long as we can get the economy back to function sooner rather than later.' 

He added that 'trial and error' would be needed to emerge from the lockdown and said the Government should be 'honest about the difficulties' of opening the UK for business. 

It's not clear what timescale he had in mind when referring to 'sooner rather than later' but let's hope his right about the UK's ability to recover!

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