When is Rishi Sunak’s Budget statement? - old

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Kate Ng
·1 min read
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 (PA)
(PA)

As Britons look forward to a possible end to the coronavirus lockdown, millions of people are also anxiously awaiting the chancellor’s spring Budget announcement.

Rishi Sunak will outline the government’s financial plans 3 March, when he expected to focus on “the next stage” of the UK’s Covid response.

The economic fallout of the Covid-19 crisis led to the government borrowing record-breaking amounts, with the latest data showing it borrowed £8.8bn in January.

Mr Sunak is once again under pressure to extend the furlough and business support schemes, which were introduced during the first lockdown last March.

The government announced its roadmap out of lockdown on Monday, but businesses still have weeks and months to go before they can even begin to think about opening their doors and welcoming customers in again.

Mr Sunak may also introduce a number of measures to bolster the economy and help some industries get back on their feet.

According to reports, such measures may include cutting VAT and alcohol duty tax for restaurants and pub, extending the stamp duty holiday for homebuyers, and possibly vouchers for high street shoppers.

Businesses have also urged him to extend the business rates holiday, which is set to end in April, to help them get through the year. However, it has been reported that officials are considering plans to increase corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent to shore up government funds.

Mr Sunak may also face opposition from Conservative MPs, who may rebel if the Budget contains sizeable tax hikes some have railed against.

Downing Street warned on Thursday that Tory MPs who vote against the Budget could be stripped as a whip, as it would consider such votes as a confidence issue.

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