UK's Sunak rules out extra help for firms hit by extended COVID-19 restrictions -FT

·1-min read
Rishi Sunak hosts a press conference in Downing Street

(Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak has ruled out any further extension of support to businesses, despite the UK government forcing many to close for an extra four weeks, The Financial Times reported

"What we did was deliberately go big and go long in terms of the support, we erred on the side of generosity," Sunak said in an interview published late on Thursday. "We very explicitly said at the time that was to accommodate delays to the road map."

Earlier this week, the finance ministry said it would extend until March 2022 a ban on evictions of businesses that stopped paying rent due to the coronavirus crisis.

But Sunak was quoted by the FT as saying he would not bow to pressure to prolong other measures such as the jobs-protecting furlough scheme and relief on taxes companies must pay based on the value of the properties they occupy.

The furlough programme is due to end on Sept. 30 and businesses with furloughed staff will need to contribute towards employee wages from July 1.

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru and William Schomberg in London; Editing by Chris Reese and David Milliken)

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