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Former Tory Cabinet minister David Gauke said he thought tax rises or budget cuts would be used to pay for the Government’s coronavirus pandemic spending.

The ex-chief secretary to the Treasury told Times Radio: “We will have to take it on the chin that our debt will go up, that we’re going to have to live with a higher level of debt for a longer period of time.

“Interest rates are low, debt servicing costs are low, given the size of our debt.

“I think we are still going to be left with increased pressures on spending, a smaller economy because the economy will be scarred to some extent and that is going to mean we’re going to need what we used to call a fiscal consolidation – that’s either spending cuts or tax rises to get the public finances on a sustainable footing.

“We don’t need them now, there is no rush in terms of doing this.

“I think the Chancellor probably will need to set out his plans sooner rather than later just to give the markets some confidence and that there is real credibility in our fiscal plans, but I think there is no need to implement it this year or next year, or possibly not even the year after that.”


Melbourne under night curfew as Victoria declares state of disaster following surge in coronavirus cases:

(AFP via Getty Images)

A state of disaster was declared in the Australian state of Victoria on Sunday, with local government implementing a night curfew to help combat coronavirus.

The state’s premier introduced its harshest movement measures to date to contain Covid-19 and said an evening restriction will be implemented across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am.

Read the full story here


Coronavirus infections in the Philippines surged past 100,000 on Sunday, after medical groups declared that the country was waging “a losing battle” against the virus and asked the president to reimpose a lockdown in the capital.

The department of health reported a record-high daily tally of 5,032, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 103,185, including more than 2,000 deaths.

The Philippines has the second-most cases in south-east Asia after Indonesia.

President Rodrigo Duterte eased a tough virus lockdown in the capital, Manila, on June 1. After shopping centres and workplaces were partially reopened and limited public transport was allowed, infections rose sharply with increased virus testing.


A cluster of 13 cases of Covid-19 linked to a pub in Aberdeen is being investigated by public health officials.

NHS Grampian says the cases are associated with The Hawthorn Bar in the city centre.

The pub’s owners said that some customers who visited on Sunday, July 26, have since tested positive for the virus.

All those who tested positive are showing only mild symptoms, though the health board says there may be further cases linked to the cluster.


Forest of Dean rave: Police break up crowds at illegal music event after revellers descend on beauty spot:


Police were forced to move in after crowds of revellers descended on the Forest of Dean for an all-night rave.

Just after 3.30am on Sunday morning Gloucestershire Constabulary tweeted: “Police are currently in the Forest of Dean near to Speculation Car Park dispersing a rave.


The premier of Australia’s hard-hit Victoria state has declared a disaster as he imposed sweeping new coronavirus restrictions across Melbourne and elsewhere.

An evening curfew will be implemented across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am, Daniel Andrews said, as the state of disaster proclamation gave police greater power.

He said 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since Saturday, including seven deaths.


Good morning and welcome to the Evening Standard’s UK coronavirus live blog for Sunday, August 2.