BORIS Johnson has promised to do “whatever it takes” to save the economy during the coronavirus crisis – as he revealed a £350billion “wartime” plan to stop firms going bust.
In the biggest shift in economic policy since the financial crisis, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are this evening unveiling a huge bumper package of measures to help British companies cope with the ongoing health crisis.
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Just one day on from the Prime Minister warning the nation to avoid pubs, theatres, restaurants and all social gatherings, the PM warned that more extreme measures are on the way in the coming days.
He told the nation this evening: “We must act like any wartime Government and do whatever it takes to support the economy.
“We may have to go further and faster in the coming days to protect lives.”
The PM stressed that their package of measures would be able to make sure they have the cash they need as soon as possible.
He added: “One day, the UK economy is going to bounce back. That’s why we are taking the steps to protect them that we are today.”
The Chancellor said businesses would be able to get access to a £330billion “coronavirus business interruption loan” fund to pay rents, staffing bills, or suppliers – if they need it.
A package for airlines and airports is also on the cards in the coming days, Mr Sunak said.
“We will do whatever it takes,” the Chancellor repeated throughout the press conference in an attempt to calm a worried nation on the brink of economic ruin.
He said: “We have never in peacetime faced an economic fight like this one.
“This Government will give you all the tools you need to get through this.
“To support jobs, incomes and business – and help you support your loved ones…
“We are well prepared. We will get through this.”
Extra measures to keep the sinking economy afloat included:
- Cash grants of £25,000 for medium-sized businesses and thousands of £10,000 grants for small businesses – totalling £9bn
- Lenders will offer 3 month mortgage holiday to anyone who needs it
- Business rates holiday for 12 months for ALL firms affected by social distancing measures – worth £11bn
- Emergency powers for the Chancellor if he needs to take more action
The measures go even further than France’s President Macron yesterday, who vowed a €300 billion loan guarantee for businesses.
Firms are are furious over a lack of support, and have lined up to demand more support from the Government before they go bankrupt.
It’s been reported too that the Government could introduce emergency legislation to try and stop people being evicted from their homes.
Matt Hancock is set to reveal new laws later today to give ministers extreme powers to act if they need to.
Earlier Robert Chote from the Office for Budget Responsibility warned that some businesses WILL go under as a result.