UK finance minister to extend job support programme
Rishi Sunak, Britain’s Finance Minister formally announced on Thursday his plan of extending a job support programme by another month until the end of April. The finance minister also affirmed that COVID-stricken businesses would be offered new COVID loans until the end of March next year.
The news broke out after Sunak announced that he would lay down longer-term plans at an annual budget on March 3, in an effort to lessen public borrowing on track to reach 400 billion pounds this year.
Initially, the new loan guarantee scheme had been due to end on Jan. 31, while the job retention programme was due to end on March 31. Previously, the finance minister drew flak by not offering loans and extensions to the job support programme until it was almost due.
Meanwhile, the British government has aided nearly 10 million jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic at a cost of 46.4 billion pounds ($63 billion) in total as of late. It has also given banks guarantees on 68 billion pounds of lending to COVID-stricken firms.