Sunak to unveil new economic boost as England goes into lockdown – reports
A new economic boost for the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic is reportedly set to be unveiled on Thursday.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Bank of England will announce the measures as England goes into a second lockdown for four weeks, The Daily Telegraph said, adding the move would lead to £100 billion being pushed into the economy.
The Chancellor is set to confirm employees on furlough will receive 80% of their salaries if their employers have been made to shut down.
The furlough scheme will be expanded after the scheduled end of the lockdown on December 2, the paper said.
Mr Sunak is ready to guarantee furlough funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland if devolved administrations bring in their own lockdowns.
The paper also said the Bank of England was considering setting negative interest rates.
When Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday a second lockdown for England, it was confirmed the job retention furlough scheme would be extended for an extra month.
Since then, the Scottish Government has been pressing UK ministers for more clarity on the issue.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on the UK government to state whether the furlough scheme could be extended further if Scotland decides to follow England into a lockdown.
The second lockdown in England will involve bars, pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops being forced to close and people told to stay at home for the next four weeks in a bid to reverse the spread of Covid-19.
In Wales, people will be able to go to pubs and restaurants, and schools are set to reopen when the nation’s two-and-a-half week “firebreak” is due to come to a close next week.
In Scotland, a regional tiered approach to restrictions is in force.
In Northern Ireland, pubs and restaurants are still shut after being closed for four weeks starting on October 16.