Most conspiracy theories amuse me. I don’t put much store in them. I prefer to look at evidence. But there is no way of making sense of the latest noises coming out of the Treasury except to conclude that there may be a deliberate plan to collapse the economy and hand over the running of the country to the IMF.

How else can one explain the Treasury’s talk of austerity and structural reforms in the midst of the country’s worst depression in a century, which has seen 3-million people lose their jobs between February and April, according to the national income dynamics study’s coronavirus rapid mobile survey? The Treasury will only tell us in October, during the medium-term budget policy statement, which reforms it is proposing. By then more people will have lost their jobs...

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