Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due in his budget to announce a £ 5bn grant package to help the British general public recover from the Covid-19 crisis, promising on Sunday that there was “more to come”.
The grants, worth up to £ 18,000 each and targeting the shops, pubs, hotels and other businesses most affected by the crisis, will bring total spending on these measures to £ 25bn over the course of the year. past year.
The Chancellor said on Sunday that his budget would “align” economic support with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap for lifting all coronavirus restrictions on June 21.
“I said at the start of this crisis that I would do whatever it takes to protect individuals, families and businesses during this crisis and I remain fully committed to that,” Sunak told Sky’s Sophy Ridge .
“I want to make sure people realize that we’re going to be there to support them and if you look at our track record, we went big, we went early and there is more to come next week.”
Sunak is also expected to announce in its budget that other support programs for businesses and individuals – including the holiday program – will be extended until the end of June.
But the Chancellor reiterated his determination to “level” citizens on the need to consolidate public finances after the crisis. Government officials expect a corporate tax hike from 19 percent to perhaps 25 percent.
Sunak is also expected to freeze income tax thresholds – the £ 12,500 level at which people start paying the base 20p rate and the £ 50,000 starting point for the 40p Band. The Sunday Times said that would mean 1.6 million people would be pushed into a higher tax bracket by the next election.
The chancellor declined to comment on his tax plans, but said it would take “time to fix” the high borrowing levels. He estimated that the long-term economic damage caused by Covid-19 would leave a budget hole of £ 40 billion to fill.
Sunak declined to comment on claims by Tory MPs that he wanted to raise taxes now so that he could cut them again before the next election.
The business grants program, administered by local councils, will help nearly 700,000 businesses, including stores, pubs, clubs, hotels, restaurants, gyms and hair salons.
Sunak said, “Our local businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic – that’s why we went big and went early with a multibillion pound package of support.
“There is now light at the end of the tunnel, and this additional £ 5 billion in cash grants will allow businesses on our high street to open their doors with optimism.”
The Chancellor hopes this will be the last such intervention, but his allies are careful not to rule out the need for additional state support if the virus reappears as a threat in the fall.
Under the scheme, non-essential retail businesses will receive up to £ 6,000 per establishment to help them reopen and start trading safely. The government’s roadmap means stores are expected to reopen no earlier than April 12.
More money will be available for hospitality, accommodation, recreation, personal care and gyms, which will reopen later and be more affected by the restrictions when they open. They can receive up to £ 18,000.
Separately, Sunak’s budget will include details of a UK Infrastructure Bank. Based in the north of England, she will work with the private sector on environmental projects and programs to ‘level’ the country.
The bank, to be launched in the spring, will receive an initial £ 12bn in equity and debt capital and an additional £ 10bn in government guarantees. It will offer a range of products including loans, equity and guarantees.
Sunak wants her to promote projects such as renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, and transportation and provide advice on complex infrastructure projects.