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News & Press: International Trade News

Chancellor expected to deliver a package of wage subsidies today

20 March 2020  
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Chancellor Rushi Sunak

Photo credit: HM Treasury

Chancellor Rushi Sunak will unveil a package of help to workers facing redundancy in the coronavirus crisis, a day after Prime Minster Boris Johnson urged businesses to “think twice before you start laying off staff”.

As the economy continues to suffer shocks due to business closures and cutting of working hours as well as restrictions on movements, options the Chancellor is said to be considering including lowering income tax and/or National Insurance.

The government was under pressure from unions, the Labour Party and some Conservative MPs to bring forward these measures from next week.

At yesterday’s press briefing, Mr Johnson vowed not to repeat the mistakes of the 2008/2009 financial crisis, when banks were prioritised for help over workers.

The measures will be announced later today, as Jaguar Land Rover becomes the latest manufacturer and exporter to temporarily close its UK plants in response to COVID-19.

The move follows that in the US, where Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors have closed their plants to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease.

For up-to-the-minute information on the government’s COVID-19 support for businesses, visit the gov.uk site here.