Economic Response To Coronavirus Update

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, has today announced further economic measures to combat coronavirus following the Budget last week.

Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor reiterated in today’s press conference that the Government will act like a wartime Government and do ‘whatever it takes’ to fight the spread of the disease socially, and the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Last week, the Chancellor announced the first stage of the economic response. This included a 30-billion-pound package to support the self-employed, businesses, the NHS and welfare.

Today, he has announced a further £20 billion investment and promised more to come over the coming days and weeks as the Government sets out its response. This means there has been promised an initial £330 billion total in financial guarantees. 

As part of the Budget, any business in the retail, leisure or hospitality industry with a rateable value of under £51 000 would not be subject to business rates over the next 12 months. This has now been extended to all businesses in these sectors irrespective of their rateable value. Those under £51 000 will also have access to an additional cash grant of £25 000 per business. The smallest businesses will also be able to access a cash grant of £10 000.

New Government backed loans or credit schemes will provide cash to businesses with the larger firms having access to a new lending facility made in conjunction with the Bank of England.

A new support package is being announced specifically for airlines and airports, to support them while restrictions on travel and social distancing remain in place.

Mortgage lenders will also now offer a 3-month mortgage holiday for those most in need and affected by the virus.

The Chancellor has stressed that this is just the beginning, with new forms of employment support expected to be announced as the Government responds to the coronavirus spread as it happens. Through Parliament, the Chancellor will push to ensure that he has the unlimited lending capacity to directly support businesses and new legal power to offer further financial support for the future.

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