Thursday 17 June 2021 7:59 pm

Sunak: Existing help for businesses hit by lockdown extension generous enough

Rishi Sunak has tonight ruled out any extra financial support for businesses hit by the four-week long extension to lockdown.

In an interview with the FT, the Chancellor said that the existing schemes had “erred on the side of generosity” in order to “accommodate delays to the roadmap”.

Although the Treasury yesterday announced an extension to the moratorium on commercial evictions, many hospitality businesses had called for extra support.

Some industries, such as nightclubs, which had been planning to open on 21 June, will not be able to operate at all until 19 July.

And pubs and restaurants will have to continue adhering to the current restrictions for the next four weeks.

Such firms had called for business rates relief and an extension to the furlough scheme, which will begin to taper off in July.

But Sunak was adamant that no further support would be extended.

“What we did was deliberately go big and go long in terms of the support, we erred on the side of generosity,” he told the FT: “We very explicitly said at the time that was to accommodate delays to the road map.”

Sunak was speaking on a trip to Leeds to open the new National Infrastructure Bank.

Due to swift rise in the number of cases of the so-called Delta variant of Covid-19, Boris Johnson elected to extend the current restrictions for another four weeks.

Today the UK saw 11,007 new infections, up from 9,055 yesterday, the biggest daily rise in cases since February. 19 people died of the virus.