If it's all about the economy, why are the Tories still polling better than Labour? | Larry Elliott

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The list of government failures as we enter the worst economic slump in 30 years should be a gift to Keir Starmer

On Monday the job axe fell at Hays Travel and DW Sports. On Tuesday it was the turn of Pizza Express and Currys PC World. On Wednesday it was WH Smith and M&Co delivering the grim news. A brutal shake-out of Britain’s labour market, caused by the deepest slump in three decades, has begun.

Unemployment will carry on rising as companies that have kept staff on thanks to the furlough scheme are now having to make a contribution to their employment costs. Wage subsidies will be history by October, even for those businesses that remain shut. With the benefits bill rising and tax receipts falling, a Conservative party that once accused Gordon Brown of maxing out on the nation’s credit card is on course to borrow upwards of £300bn this year, comfortably a peacetime record.

Related: The government must up its game to prepare for a second wave of Covid-19 | Keir Starmer

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