The chancellor is expected to give £408m to help museums, theatres and galleries to reopen in England as coronavirus restrictions ease. Rishi Sunak will announce the support for the badly-hit culture sector in his budget on Wednesday, as many theatres mark a year of forced closure this month. Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world The budget will also include a “significant chunk” of a £300m sports recovery package being allocated to cricket, as fans prepare for the sport to resume this summer. But it comes as debate rages on how to pay for the extra spending, after latest figures showed public sector net debt rose by £316.4bn in the 10 months since the start of April, almost entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisement The Office for National Statistics said state debt increased to £2.1trn by the end of January – around 97.9% of GDP – the highest debt to GDP ratio since the financial year ending 1963. Former chancellor Ken Clarke told Sky News that Mr Sunak should ditch the government’s triple lock on pensions , lift taxes on older voters, and be wary of raising corporation tax. More from Budget 2021 Proposed 1% pay… Read full this story
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