The economic burden of the coronavirus lockdown and other restrictions will be borne by the next generation, a finance minister has admitted.
Tory frontbencher Lord Agnew von Oulton said he shared Westminster concerns about the “high debt” associated with introducing stricter rules to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In addition to the huge cost of providing support, locks also curb economic growth, he told his peers why the government had tried to avoid them whenever possible.
Lord Agnew commented on the more conservative minister Lord Robathan, who recently led a failed insurrection to block the second national lockdown in England.
The Tory peer criticized the government for failing to perform an impact assessment of the move, which it previously described as a “grave act of national self-harm”.
Lord Robathan squeezed the minister in the upper chamber during a statement on economics and said, “Could he tell me how long it will be for our children to repay the enormous debts we are running.
“Will it be a decade, two decades, three decades or more?”
Lord Agnew said he was also concerned about “the tremendous impact of debt” on the nation’s balance sheet.
The minister added: “Of course he is absolutely right that the next generation will bear the burden – none of us sit in this chamber.
“That’s why we’re doing everything we can to avoid these national lockdowns, as they not only incur the enormous cost of helping people, but also slow economic growth.
“We are sure to see the biggest decline in economic activity in my life and maybe even longer.
“The key is that we have to come together to rebuild the economy as soon as possible because only growth will pay off this debt.”