Planning for the future needs to start now in the heart of crisis: We ask economists and thinkers how to revive Britain after Covid-19

In the darkest hours of the Second World War, the Churchill-led coalition government embarked on the bravest of enterprises.

It sought to put in place a social and economic settlement which would protect the lives of citizens in decades to come.

The Beveridge Report of 1942 provided a blueprint for confronting what the author described as the five giants: idleness, ignorance, disease, squalor and want. It was also a best-seller.

Out of Beveridge’s vision, the NHS and the ‘cradle-to-grave’ protections of the welfare state were born.

The Covid-19 crisis has produced a loss of life greater than the Blitz, and a scale of state intervention in the UK’s free-wheeling economy totally out of keeping with modern Anglo-Saxon capitalism.

Fundamental questions about the divide among generations, income inequality, ramshackle taxation, technical education, social care and the current health settlement have been raised.

Planning for the future needs to start now in the heart of crisis, as it did in the Second World War. Post-Covid Britain deserves nothing less.

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