By Aine Fox, PA
More parts of the UK’s economy could be given the green light to reopen, a day after the chancellor announced an emergency support package to protect against the coronavirus recession.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a sweeping package of measures on Wednesday including giving firms which have furloughed staff a £1,000 bonus to keep workers in jobs.
While warning that “hardship lies ahead”, he insisted no-one will be left “without hope”, as he revealed plans to cut stamp duty, slash VAT on food, accommodation and attractions to 5% and give diners a discount to support pubs and restaurants.
The new policy will mean meals eaten at any participating business from Monday to Wednesday during August will be 50% cheaper, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone. Businesses can then claim the money back, with funds in their bank account within five working days.
Speaking in the Commons Mr Sunak said his plan would help protect livelihoods after the economy contracted by 25% in just two months.