Rishi Sunak has warned Britain that its Covid-19 economic emergency has only just begun after responding to news of the deepest slump in more than 300 years by pledging a fresh £55bn to tackle the pandemic. On the day that the daily death toll from the virus reached a new second-wave peak of 696, the chancellor said that despite borrowing a peacetime record of £394bn this year, he would need to carry on spending in order to protect lives and livelihoods. Sunak said his one-year spending plan for the economy included the biggest sustained increase in infrastructure investment for four decades, and involved more money for housing, railways, broadband upgrades and Boris Johnson’s green agenda, totalling £100bn next year. With unemployment on course to reach 2.6 million by the middle of next year, Sunak allocated £3bn to help the long-term jobless find work and announced a £4bn “levelling-up fund” for local projects ranging from new roads to libraries in areas of greatest need. “Our health emergency is not yet over. And our economic emergency has only just begun,” Sunak told MPs as he announced that forecasts from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility showed the UK economy on course to… Read full this story
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