Mar 17, 2020

Sunak bins Budget first aid for far stronger treatment

Mr Sunak last week used the Budget to pledge a £12bn package of support to counteract the economic effects of coronavirus for companies, individuals and the public services. The first element of the additional state support from Mr Sunak will come from access to credit for companies to tide them over difficult times in the months ahead. The chancellor made it clear that the £330bn of government loan guarantees would be available from next week. Smaller companies will have access to business interruption loans worth up to £5m, with no interest charged for the first six months. For smaller companies in these sectors, with ratable values of less than £51,000, Mr Sunak offered cash grants worth up to £25,000 each to help with rent bills. Unlike in Denmark or Sweden, where governments have offered to reimburse companies for a high proportion of the wage bill of workers who would otherwise be laid off, Mr Sunak has no simple means of directing such support to companies quickly.

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