The Chancellor has delivered a sombre warning about the prospects for the UK economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rishi Sunak said the nation was heading into a “severe recession” and it’s “not obvious there will be an immediate bounceback” once lockdown restrictions are eased more fully.
His warning came as the latest figures showed the number of people claiming benefits for being out of work soared in April, the first full month of the lockdown, to its highest level since the 1990s.
The Office for National Statistics says 2.1 million people claimed benefits last month, up by more than 856,000.
The claims for Universal Credit, a relatively new benefit, are for working-age people in the UK. For many now looking for work, it’s the first time they have had to make a claim and experience the new system.
Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reports from Economics Editor Faisal Islam and Social Affairs correspondent Michael Buchanan.
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