LONDON — The U.K. chancellor on Wednesday set out a £30 billion package of public spending and tax cuts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus as he delivered the U.K.’s first budget since leaving the European Union.
Rishi Sunak warned of temporary disruption to the U.K. economy as people take time off work, and consumer spending falls, but promised to do “whatever it takes” to get the U.K. through the crisis.
In what he described it as “one of the most comprehensive economic responses of any government, anywhere in the world to date” he set out a raft of measures including extra funding for the NHS, sick pay refunds, cash grants for small businesses, a coronavirus business interruption loan scheme, and the temporary abolition of business rates for some retail and entertainment businesses.
“Coronavirus will have a significant impact on our economy, but it will be temporary. I will do whatever it takes to get to our nation through it,” Sunak told the House of Commons.