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We are about a week away from a medium-term budget policy speech that comes in a most extraordinary year for all of us. Covid-19 has upended all that we thought we knew about running a modern-day economy. It’s amazing to think that for about two full months of this year, the state had to basically shut down all commerce as it prepared itself for the September peak in the pandemic.

The “great lockdown” was important in helping us manage our way through the peak in infection rates and to ensure that the worst forecasts in terms of the number of deaths never materialised. That should not, however, encourage any sense of complacency among us. The virus is still very much a factor in the global economy and will be so until a vaccine is found...

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