Yet, while his decision to defer the Budget is understandable, his Commons speech on Thursday was notable for the omission of future investment in skills, retraining and digital connectivity, all of which are key to Britain’s future.
Mr Sunak was deliberately careful – and cautious – with his words when he told MPs: “Our economy is now likely to undergo a more permanent adjustment.” Yet this is already happening. The continuing absence of commuters has left city centre locations desolate while traditional towns appear to be enjoying a resurgence of sorts.
And the advent of remote working – whether it be in homes or office hubs – is opening up much needed new opportunities for the economy; today’s report by the North and East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership is just the latest to reach this conclusion.
Once again, it says the number one area holding back such towns, like those in the Chancellor’s own Richmond constituency, is the poor quality of local broadband. Its many proposals also include the use libraries – many of which are fighting for their futures – as centres to teach new digital skills to the less computer-savvy.
Precisely the type of proactive approach favoured by Mr Sunak, such towns can lead the national fightback, however, and also provide families with an enhanced quality of life, if a special Government task force is set up to accelerate the provision of high-speed broadband to all. Perhaps the Chancellor can provide a lead – given how he is one of the few senior politicians to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis so far with an enhanced reputation.
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today.
Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers.
So, please - if you can - pay for our work. Just £5 per month is the starting point. If you think that which we are trying to achieve is worth more, you can pay us what you think we are worth. By doing so, you will be investing in something that is becoming increasingly rare. Independent journalism that cares less about right and left and more about right and wrong. Journalism you can trust.