Great Britain

Chancellor could relax trading laws & introduce car scrappage scheme to launch post-coronavirus economic recovery

RISHI Sunak will put rocket boosters under the UK economy to launch a post-coronavirus recovery.

Urgent measures including relaxing Sunday trading laws and a car scrappage scheme could be unveiled.

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Plans could be rolled out by the Chancellor next month amid fears unemployment could grow by two million.

Boris Johnson hosts Cabinet on Tuesday to give the green light for non-essential shops to reopen.

Clothing, betting shops and furniture stores will all open their doors if vital tests ensuring the pandemic is under control are met.

Relaxing hours for larger supermarkets and DIY stores on a Sunday were backed by business groups and follows a long-running Sun on Sunday campaign.

British Chamber of Commerce director-general Adam Marshall said: “Businesses need to be given every opportunity to start to generate sales.

“If there are rules that can be relaxed to give more companies a fighting chance to trade their way through this crisis without compromising safety, ministers should make it happen.”

Tory MP Nus Ghani, who has been fighting for the move, said: “This will be a very welcome boost to the economy as we leave lockdown, and reduce the pressure on shoppers and staff as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“Sunday trading laws are outdated as we live in the new Covid world.”

But Labour said last night they saw “no justification” in relaxing Sunday trading.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell said: “This plan would hit the High Street the hardest.

"It is wrong because big supermarkets have seen increased trade, while small shops have suffered most.”

Officials are also discussing a car scrappage scheme worth £1.5billion.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders are in talks with Government over the plan or an alternative stimulus package.

Ministers are considering a £2,500 reduction off the price of a vehicle, which could put 600,000 new cars on the road.

But a senior MP last night said the plan shouldn’t be limited to electric or hybrid cars.

Tory Robert Halfon said: “Any scrappage scheme must not simply include environmentally friendly or hybrid cars but petrol and diesel vehicles White Van Man drives.”

Discussions are also taking place to remove the 28-day planning rule that holds up moves for restaurants and cafes to serve outside.

And Ministers are working on an apprenticeship plan for young people hit by Covid.

A Whitehall source said any measures were yet to be confirmed.


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Chancellor Rishi Sunak explains the levels of contributions employers will make to govt's coronavirus furlough scheme

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