Sunak to promise 'whatever it takes' in new COVID budget plan

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The so-called "restart" grants will be available on a per premises basis and will cover hospitality, hotels, gyms, personal care and leisure firms. "You should not be worrying excessively about the budget deficits and about debt".

He told the Financial Times he plans to "level with people" during his Commons speech, as he spoke of the "enormous strains" on the UK's public finances are facing.

On CGT Shah believes it is too soon for Chancellor to align rates with income tax, as proposed by the Office for Tax Simplification in a report commissioned by Sunak himself previous year.

"An increase in corporation tax is likely to be, intentionally or not, the flagship measure", Barclays said in a client note.

The Sunday Times said he would freeze the £12,500 point at which people start paying the basic rate of income tax and the £50,000 threshold where they begin paying the higher 40p rate, as he aims to raise £43 billion a year.

But he is expected also to increase corporation tax, or a levy on company profits, from a United Kingdom record-low 19 percent while sticking to the Conservative government's pre-pandemic pledge not to increase income tax or value added tax (VAT).

A cross-panel of MPs, in a report Monday, said it was too soon to raise taxes and that corporation tax should eventually be raised only moderately, while being combined with continued support measures for businesses.

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This is the second Budget delivered by Mr Sunak and, as is tradition, the opposition leader, Sir Keir Starmer, will respond.

It is also being reported that £77 million will be given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - to aid cultural groups in a similar vein.

Local authorities will be tasked with distributing the grants and will receive the funding in April.

He is also expected to reiterate his commitment to reopening the economy, following the "roadmap" set out last week by the prime minister, which would allow Covid restrictions on businesses and individuals to end by 21 June, at the earliest.

She also said support with business rates and Value-Added Tax deferrals would be "massively helpful" to help the sector survive until holidaymakers start travelling again.

"We're using the full measure of our fiscal firepower to protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people", Sunak will say, according to excerpts of his speech which is due to begin around 1230 GMT.

Federation of Small Businesses national chair Mike Cherry said the grants will "provide a much-needed lifeline", but called for the Chancellor to set out more funding "for those that have been excluded from income support throughout this crisis".

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