Chancellor set to announce new business support package after third lockdown announced

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to announce a fresh business support package to help firms through the third lockdown, the UK Government has said.

According to Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, the Chancellor will set out details of additional support later today.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the news of a new lockdown on Monday night – but made no mention of any new support for business.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced new lockdown measures yesterday, warning that anyone who is able to work from home must do so, and asking businesses take the new law as seriously as in March last year, as the situation is “at least as serious now as it was then”.

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Business owners have continued to sound the alarm about the new measures closing shops and issuing stay at home orders will have on their finances.

Those who cannot work due to the coronavirus rules can still be furloughed under the current rules – which are due to end in the spring.

There are also continuing loans, grants and tax rule relaxations for businesses and the self-employed.

Sunak unveiled his first a package of financial measures – including loans worth £330bn to help businesses through the crisis – on March 17 last year.

Three days later, he set out the coronavirus job protection scheme, with the government covering 80% of the wages of staff not working, up to £2,500 a month.

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Last October, Sunak announced that workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses forced to close under new restrictions would have two-thirds of their wages paid by the government.

In November, he told the Commons that the furlough scheme was being extended until the end of March in a major u-turn.



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