Britain announced the launch of a USD 399 Billion lifeline of loan guarantees and another 20 Billion pounds in tax cuts and grants, etc. for businesses that are at risk of collapsing from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of finance Rishi Sunak pledged to do “whatever it takes” which includes further action to aide public businesses such as retailers, bars, restaurants and airports which are being heavily affected by the virus. “This is not a time for ideology and orthodoxy,” Sunak said on Tuesday, speaking alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “This is a time to be bold, a time for courage.”
Britain has been under scrutiny on a global scale on its delayed reaction to prepare for the coronavirus. Britain’s coronavirus death toll rose from 16 to 71 on Tuesday. Sunak promised a suspension of property tax along with the new loan guarantee program to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses. Sunak also said that banks and lenders will offer a three month mortgage holiday for those struggling.
The Bank of England declared it would set up a new fund with the finance ministry to purchase commercial debt with a term leading up to one year issued by investment grade companies that make a “material contribution” to Britain’s economy. “Now is not a time to be squeamish about public sector debt,” Robert Chote, head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, told lawmakers. “We ran during the Second World War budget deficits in excess of 20% of GDP five years on the trot and that was the right thing to do.”