BRITS will take the first steps towards an economic recovery as kids go back to school from this Tuesday.
It will free hundreds of thousands of workers to head back to their offices for the first time in six months.
Shops, bars and restaurants could share a £650million economic boost.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said pupils returning will have a “positive impact” in getting Britain kick-started.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, he said: “Let’s recognise the fact that with children going back, by opening up the schools for our children, we’re opening up the country for everyone.
“Bringing towns and cities back to life, seeing people so much more out and about. I think that will be one of the added consequences of children being welcomed back.”
As few as one in ten civil servants have returned to some government departments after lockdown.
But it is hoped that could rise to 20 per cent this coming week.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates around five per cent of people will go back to the office once schools re-open.
Julian Jessop of the Institute for Economic Affairs, said: “If the reopening of schools allows one million working parents to return to the office, and each spends an additional £50 per week, that’s a pre-Christmas boost to the economy of £650million.”
But Centre for Cities’ boss Andrew Carter said: “If more people don’t return to city centres next month then the Chancellor will need to set out further plans for supporting retail and hospitality workers who could lose their jobs.”
Mr Williamson has been under huge pressure after a string of U-turns. But he has written an open letter to parents highlighting an extensive study by the British Medical Journal which says the risk of severe illness to kids was “vanishingly small”.
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