Talking to the BBC, Sunak said the government is “grappling with something that is unprecedented” after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported the economy had shrank by 20.4 percent between April and June compared with the first three months of the year.
Addressing a question on potential turmoil pursuant to mass unemployment, the chancellor said the government should not pretend that “absolutely everybody can and will be able to go back to the job they had”.
The chancellor’s pessimism is well-founded as the dramatic plunge in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently places the UK only behind Spain in terms of suffering the worst economic downturn among major economies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Seen from another perspective, the drop in output of 22.1 percent is double the impact suffered by the US economy.
Meanwhile, shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds tweeted: “We've already got the worst excess death rate in Europe - now we're on course for the worst recession too”.
"That's a tragedy for our country and it's happening on the PM's [Boris Johnson’s] watch … A downturn was inevitable after lockdown - Johnson's jobs crisis wasn't", Dodds added.