Great Britain

Rishi Sunak plans for emergency budget to save 2million jobs lost over coronavirus crisis

RISHI Sunak is planning an emergency budget statement to save 2million jobs at risk from the coronavirus crisis.

The Chancellor wants to save millions of furloughed workers by retraining them, as well as splashing cash on British tech firms.

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There will also be extra spending on infrastructure and a government bailout for struggling companies, if they can contribute to Britain “rising again over the next 10 to 15 years”, a source told the Times.

Mr Sunak wants to make his scheme the centrepiece of a budget statement to MPs scheduled for July.

It comes after he warned last week that two million jobs would be lost unless pubs and restaurants, shut on March 23, are reopened.

Boris Johnson has said he hopes pubs, restaurants and hotels may all reopen next month.


Mr Sunak’s budget statement will follow a speech by the PM at the end of next month.

It is seen as the start of a “one-two punch” strategy to get Britain back on its feet after the long draconian measures of lockdown.

The Chancellor is said to have urged Mr Johnson to reopen the country for business - with fears that Britain may not recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

If we don’t get hospitality open, two million jobs will go by this summer

Rishi Sunak

According to one MP, Mr Sunak told a conference call last week: “If we don’t get hospitality open, two million jobs will go by this summer”.

Mr Sunak has previously warned that Britain is facing a "severe recession the likes of which we haven't seen".

It comes as he announced on Friday that the government’s coronavirus furlough scheme will end in October.

There are currently 8.4 million people on the scheme - formally known as the Government retention scheme - at a cost of roughly £14billion a month, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Under the changes, the Chancellor told employers that they must paying towards the wages of furloughed staff from August.

Mr Sunak said: “Then, after eight months of this extraordinary intervention of the government stepping in to help pay people's wages, the scheme will close.”

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