Rishi Sunak to boost pandemic-hit economy by triggering ‘giveaway Budget’

Rishi Sunak discusses the Spring Budget

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The Chancellor will announce his spring Budget on March 3 after unemployment hit its highest level for five years. He is set to offer new help schemes for hospitality businesses and will carry over the stamp duty holiday, according to the Daily Mail.

The news outlet also reported that Treasury officials are considering other major measures, possibly including lowering alcohol duty for hospitality firms.

However, supermarkets could be hit with higher levies on alcoholic beverages in a bid to help local businesses.

It also discussed a potential comeback of last summer’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme that offered up to £10 off a meal and soft drinks per person at participating restaurants from Monday to Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the Chancellor and Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted at potential policies to aid the economic recovery.

But Mr Sunak said: “I know how incredibly tough the past year has been for everyone, and every job lost is a personal tragedy.

“At the Budget next week I will set out the next stage of our Plan For Jobs, and the support we’ll provide through the remainder of the pandemic and our recovery.”

When quizzed about the unemployment numbers, which hit 5.1 percent between October and December, the Prime Minister said the Government would “continue to put our arms around everybody”.

During a visit to a school in south London, he said: “Some sectors have been changing in the last few years and will continue to change, maybe that has been accelerated by the pandemic.

“What we’ll do is continue to put our arms around everybody in the country to look after them throughout the pandemic.

“You know about the kickstart funds available to help people from job to job, get young people into new jobs… and you’ll be hearing a lot more about that and the Chancellor’s Plan For Jobs next week.”

The reports come after senior Tory MPs called on the Chancellor to discard Budget tax rises to achieve a high-speed recovery.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former Tory leader and ex-Work and Pensions Secretary, said Mr Sunak should not increase taxes.

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His “number one” priority was to “get businesses moving and move fast to take advantage of our early vaccinations”.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis, who vowed to vote against any Budget tax increases, said: “We already have the highest tax burden in 50 years.

“If we get increases in tax, we won’t have any money left to pay the bills. The economy is 10 percent smaller than it should be.

“The Bank of England says we will bounce back, but many businesses have gone for good. We need to encourage new businesses.

“I don’t want to see any overall increase in the tax burden and ideally no increases in any individual taxes.”

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