Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a new three-tiered restriction system on Monday to control the spread of the CCP virus, as a group of 70 Tory backbenchers are poised to oppose the plan.
England is currently under a four-week national lockdown that will end on Dec. 2. People have to stay at home unless they can’t work from home, and all businesses deemed non-essential are closed.
Johnson will announce his “COVID winter plan,” consisting of a new “strengthened” three-tiered system, at 3:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
But he declined to preemptively reveal how the system is “strengthened” compared with the one in place before the national lockdown.
The Conservative MPs said they “cannot support this approach further unless the Government demonstrates the restrictions proposed for after 2 December will have an impact on slowing the transmission of Covid, and will save more lives than they cost.”
The MPs called for the government to “publish a full cost-benefit analysis of the proposed restrictions on a regional basis so that MPs can assess responsibly the non-Covid health impact of restrictions, as well as the undoubted impact on livelihoods.”
Steve Baker, deputy chair of the CRG, said the government needs to justify each measure it adopts.
“And we also want to see a cost-benefit analysis for each measure, so that we can see that the measures will save more lives than they harm,” he said.
Baker said the government’s own analysis on the first lockdown showed that it did more harm than good.
“When the government did its own analysis on the first lockdown, it showed that in quality adjusted life years, adjusted for comorbidities, that the first lockdown did more harm than good,” Baker said.
“We think this is very serious. ... [I]t is our duty to say to the government, you need to demonstrate the proportionality and necessity of everything that you’re doing. ”
When asked whether the government would publish a cost-benefit analysis, Sunak told Ridge that it’s “very hard to be precise in estimating the particular impact of a one-week restriction”.
“You will see next week when we have the Spending Review, alongside that will be a set of forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the independent forecasting and fiscal watchdog we have in this country,” Sunak said.
Sunak said the coming review and forecast will show the “enormous strain and stress” that the UK economy is experiencing, the job losses, and the forecast for what will happen.
The minister said three-quarters of a million people had already lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, and many businesses are on the brink.
A spokeswoman from No. 10 Downing Street said restrictions are essential to control the virus.
“That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made, and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS [National Health Service].”