‘Only a crisis produces real change.’ What will coronavirus bring?

As increased government spending and investment in public services around the world offers millions of people a lifeline, Ahmed Twaij says we must take this rare opportunity to redefine how we live

Tuesday 20 October 2020 12:44
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New York just before the city was given the order to lock down for the first time in March
New York just before the city was given the order to lock down for the first time in March

There is no magic money tree,” former prime minister Theresa May smugly proclaimed in her 2017 election campaign. She was responding to a nurse who had asked how May could “sleep happily” knowing NHS staff had been forced to resort to food banks thanks to years of government austerity measures. 

Fast forward to 2020, have we found that “magic money tree” at last? Somehow, the chancellor has been able to continually provide billions of additional pounds for the NHS and other essential public services in the battle against coronavirus. Such ramping-up in government spending has become a global trend and reversing these socialist measures post-Covid will be disastrous.

Coronavirus has presented us with a prime opportunity to start anew and implement positive, progressive change for society: a clean slate if you will. Previously unthinkable policies have been rushed into law. The prospect of reconsidering the global distribution of wealth has suddenly shifted from former US president Barack Obama’s “hope” to his “yes we can” attitude. We must take this rare opportunity to redefine how we live and promote greater equality.

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