UK to extend coronavirus support, may raise tax in budget

Elias Hubbard
Марта 3, 2021

He has promised to "level" with the public about the state of the United Kingdom economy, amid the biggest national debt in more than 50 years.

A cross-panel of MPs, in a report Monday, said it was too soon to raise taxes and that corporation tax should eventually be raised only moderately, while being combined with continued support measures for businesses.

But his main focus will be on preventing mass job losses and business collapse, as he withdraws emergency support.

Sunak is expected to extend the UK's jobs rescue plan - known as the furlough scheme - to September but also to warn that the public finances will need to be fixed once a recovery is in sight.

In a series of announcements ahead of his set-piece speech, Mr Sunak said the United Kingdom will launch a sovereign green savings bond for retail investors to help cut greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050.

Further support for self-employed workers will also be announced, with more than 600,000 people - many of whom became self-employed in 2019/20 - now eligible for cash grants.

He will also set out the government's plans for duties on alcohol, tobacco and fuel.

The Sunday Times said he could freeze the level at which people start paying the basic rate of income tax - £12,500 - and the £50,000 threshold at which they begin paying the higher 40p rate for at least three years.

The Budget comes at a time when businesses are suffering, while public finances have been damaged by months of Covid restrictions and lockdowns.

There are also signs that the speedy rollout of Covid vaccines - more than 20 million people in the United Kingdom have now had a jab - is having a better impact than anticipated.

"In today's budget we begin the work of building our future economy".

"This industry is a significant driver of economic activity, employing more than 700,000 people in jobs across the United Kingdom, and I am committed to ensuring the arts are equipped to captivate audiences in the months and years to come".

The Labour leader urged the United Kingdom government to adopt a targeted approach to support, pointing to the Welsh First Minister's decision to cap its Covid business rates relief, making those with properties with a rateable value over £500,000 ineligible.

He said he was "concerned companies are going to have to step in and pay greater contributions".

Metro and The Independent lead on the same Budget news, which the Daily Express previews as "Rishi's budget lifeline to help millions".

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