Chancellor announces £330bn support for economy

Government-backed loans worth £330bn and a three-month mortgage holiday have been announced by the chancellor as part of “unprecedented” measures to help businesses and families.

Rishi Sunak unveiled the package of support at a Downing Street news conference on Tuesday as he said the UK faced an “economic emergency” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saying it was “a time to be bold, a time for courage”, the chancellor told businesses and households: “This government will give you all the tools you need to get through this.”

Mr Sunak announced:

  • A package of £330bn of loan guarantees to businesses
  • Interest-free business interruption loans will be increased to £5m
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all shops, pubs, theatres, music venues and restaurants
  • A cash grant of up to £25,000 for those businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000
  • A three-month mortgage holiday for those in difficulty because of coronavirus

As of 9am on Tuesday, there were 1,950 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK – up 407 in the past 24 hours and a rise of 26%.

The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the actual number of people in the UK with coronavirus was in the “ballpark” of around 55,000.

He told MPs the aim was for fewer than 20,000 people to die from the disease, despite that being a “horrible” number of deaths.

There are an estimated 8,000 deaths from seasonal flu each year.

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