New Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a £30billion giveaway budget to help calm coronavirus nerves.
In the biggest national handout for a generation, the NHS will receive £6billion in new funding and thousands of businesses will get their rates axed to avoid collapse as the disease spreads.
Mr Sunak froze tax on booze and fuel and promised to put more money back into tens of millions of people’s pockets to boost the nation as we battle the Covid-19 outbreak.
As experts estimate around a fifth of the workforce will be struck down with the virus, the Chancellor said all employees who are self-isolating at home – even if they do not have symptoms – will be paid statuary sick pay.
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Self-employed workers can claim Employment Support Allowance.
In a bid to help Britain’s pubs Mr Sunak increased business rates relief from £1,000 to £5,000. And for the first time in 20 years, duties on spirits, beer, cider and wine were all frozen together.
The British Beer & Pub Association boss Emma McClarkin said: “82% of the beer we drink here is brewed in the UK, so this is a very welcome decision.”
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Meanwhile the Bank of England ordered an emergency cut in interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25%.
Governor Mark Carney said: “The Bank’s role is to help UK businesses and households manage an economic shock that could prove large and sharp, but should be temporary.”
An extra £900million for research into nuclear fusion, space and electric vehicles, while more than £600billion is set to be spent on roads, rail, broadband and housing by the middle of 2025
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