British firms urge for immediate $10.3 billion, as part of COVID aid
LONDON (UK) – British firms called on Tuesday for another 7.6 billion pounds ($10.3 billion), as part of emergency government help. They said that they cannot wait for finance minister Rishi Sunak’s March budget to find out if more support will come their way amid the pandemic.
With the ongoing lockdown in Britain and companies trying to cope after Brexit, firms are taking big decisions regarding jobs and investment and are inquisitive about the extension of their financial lifelines, the Confederation of British Industry said.
CBI Director-General Tony Danker said in a statement, “We just have to finish the job. Now would be a very odd time to end that support.”
The CBI said Sunak should extend his broad job retention scheme until June, which is likely to come to an end in April. It added that it should be followed up, coupled with targeted support for jobs in sectors subjected to a slow recovery such as aviation.
Danker said, “The rule of thumb must be that business support remains in parallel to restrictions and that those measures do not come to a sudden stop.”
The CBI said its longer-term priority was a complete reversal, for an effective business rates system that it said was outdated and discouraging investment in low-carbon energy.
Danker said it was too soon to start raising Britain’s corporation tax rate, one of the lowest among rich economies.
“It would be wrong to raise business taxes when we don’t have a recovery,” Danker said.