UK Chancellor: ‘Forget the Budget- Lets Tackle the COVID Crisis’

This Autumn’s Budget is to be scrapped this year, says Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The Treasury has scrapped plans for an Autumn Budget this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury said, quote: “As we heard this week, now is not the right time to outline long-term plans – people want to see us focused on the here and now – so we are confirming today that there will be no Budget this autumn.”

There will however be a spending review to set out the overall shape of government spending, said a government spokesman. Typically, the government outlines the state of the country’s finances in the Budget and, crucially, proposes tax changes. But any such decisions will now be put on hold until next year. Instead, the government will reveal how much each department is allowed to spend. A Treasury source said: “No-one wanted to be in this situation but we need to respond to it.

The chancellor will use an update on the economy to parliament on Thursday to announce new support for jobs threatened by the new measures to stop the virus spreading. The Guardian revealed on Tuesday that one of the measures he was considering was a German-style wage subsidy scheme to protect the jobs market.

The chancellor tweeted: “As our response to coronavirus adapts, tomorrow afternoon I will update the House of Commons on our plans to continue protecting jobs through the winter.”

The Spanish ministry of labour is in a similar situation regards the furlough scheme, or ERTE as it called in Spain. It too provides support for workers who are suspended from work and provides a basic income at the moment of 70% of their salaries. Both countries now need to come up with a plan that will not cause more economic turmoil and debt than necessary.

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Tony Winterburn

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