Business rates Chancellor announcement coronavirus
- Author: Darren Santiago Mar 18, 2020,
Mar 18, 2020, 0:26
Other measures announced on Tuesday included a three-month mortgage holiday for people in difficulty and an extension of a suspension of a property tax paid by small companies to all businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak told a press conference it was an "economic emergency".
Sunak promises government intervention "on a scale unimaginable only a few weeks ago".
"The government will stand behind businesses small and large", he said during a daily briefing at Downing Street.
He also announced that government-backed loans worth up to £330b will be available to businesses as part of an "unprecedented" set of measures to protect the United Kingdom economy from the coronavirus crisis.
"That means any business which needs access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, their suppliers, or purchase stock will be able to access a government-backed loan or credit on attractive terms".
She said: "It seems to me that they have grasped what our issues and major costs are within the industry and are addressing them - quickly".
1st coronavirus death in United Kingdom confirmed as infected cases rise to 115
It follows Prof Whitty's warning earlier that deaths in the United Kingdom from the virus could reach a "large absolute number". The person, who was not identified, is among the 115 people in the United Kingdom who have tested positive for the new virus.
Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of Covid-19, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months.
"Both of these schemes will be up and running by the start of next week".
Responding to the measures, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Rishi Sunak really delivering here for hundreds of thousands of businesses who were last night in despair at having their business closed by the PM announcement".
"In particular, I will work with trade unions and business groups to urgently develop new forms of employment support to help protect people's jobs and incomes through this period".
Mr Sunak added that he is also taking "a new legal power" to "offer whatever further financial support I decide is necessary".
He said: "We must act like a wartime government and do whatever it takes to support our economy".