British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce USD 7 billion of additional grants to help businesses hit hard by pandemic lockdowns in his budget statement next week, the government stated on Saturday.
Shops, bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants, gyms and hair salons would be among nearly 700,000 companies eligible for new direct cash grants.
The UK government said the funding takes the total spent on direct grants to businesses during the crisis to USD 34.8 billion.
“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel and this 5 billion pounds of extra cash grants will ensure our high streets can open their doors with optimism,” said Sunak.
The UK government has already spent more than USD 389 billion in coronavirus spending and tax cuts, pushing Britain’s borrowing to its highest level since World War Two. UK will probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the gaping hole in the public finances.