On Tuesday, Rishi Sunak said the Government will “be bold” in the way it supports the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. The Chancellor has promised an “unprecedented package” of £330bn to support businesses and said there was more money available if needed. There are 1,950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, where 50,442 people have been tested.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This struggle will not be overcome by a single package of measures or isolated interventions.
“It will be won through a collective national effort, every one of us doing all we can to protect family, neighbours, friends, jobs.
“This national effort will be underpinned by Government interventions in the economy on a scale unimaginable only a few weeks ago.”
Retail and leisure businesses can get a £25,000 cash grant from the Government to help them during the outbreak.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised people to avoid going to pubs, clubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas.
This social distancing is aimed at slowing down the spread of coronavirus.
The leisure and retail industry has been hard hit as shoppers and consumers stay away from the high street.
Mr Sunak said there are concerns about the impacts of the measure on pubs, clubs and theatres.
Mr Sunak announced that he was extending the business rates holiday to all businesses in the hospitality sector and funding grants of up to £25,000 for smaller businesses.
He said: “For those venues which do have a policy that covers pandemics – the government action is sufficient to allow them to make claims.”
For the smaller businesses in the retail and leisure sector that don’t have insurance, the Chancellor says he will hand out the cash grants “to help bridge through this period”.
He also said businesses in the sector will get a “business rates holiday”.
Mr Sunak said: “This is not a time for ideology and orthodoxy, this is a time to be bold, a time for courage.
“I want to reassure every British citizen this Government will give you all the tools you need to get through this.”
He said the Government would “stand behind businesses small and large”, and announced an “unprecedented package of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to support business to get through this”.
“Today I am making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees, equivalent to 15 percent of our GDP.
“That means any business who needs access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, suppliers or purchase stock will be able to access a Government-backed loan or credit on attractive terms.
“And if demand is greater than the initial £330 billion I’m making available today, I will go further and provide as much capacity as required. I said whatever it takes, and I meant it.”
Describing the outbreak as an “emergency”, he added: “Never in peacetime have we faced an economic fight like this one.”
Rishi Sunak has worked with mortgage lenders to ensure a three-month “holiday” system is in place.
This will mean that mortgage holders will be awarded a three-month reprieve from mortgage payments if they suffer financially as a result of coronavirus.
Published at Tue, 17 Mar 2020 17:19:00 +0000