NHS will get 'whatever is needed' to cope with coronavirus in Budget and chaos WON'T delay Brexit, Chancellor says

NHS will get 'whatever is needed' to cope with coronavirus in Budget and chaos WON'T delay Brexit, Chancellor says


THE NHS will get ‘whatever is needed’ to cope with coronavirus in the Budget and the chaos will not delay Brexit, the Chancellor has vowed.

Speaking this morning, Rishi Sunak warned the UK was set for a “shock” from the killer illness, but vowed to do whatever it takes to make sure the NHS can cope with the outbreak.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

Ahead of unveiling his budget on Wednesday, the new Chancellor announced extra funds would be available to combat the crisis.

Appearing on Sophy Ride on Sunday, he said: “We’ve already deployed funds to the NHS for both vaccines and immediate response, that’s already happening.

“We can take whatever steps are necessary, what people should know is I am working hard with the team to make sure we can help anyone through a difficult period.”

Earlier this week the Government announced an extra £46million in the fight against coronavirus.

The money will include funds towards the development of a vaccine as well as a new a rapid test for the disease.

Mr Sunak also insisted any outbreak would have no impact on the PM’s vow not to extend the Brexit transition period.

The PM has repeatedly ruled out staying in the transition period after 2020, despite the EU warning it will not sign "any kind of deal" just to get it done.

Mr Sunak also revealed cash would be available to support businesses if they were affected by the virus spreading across the country.

This would include stepping in to help companies struggling to pay sick pay – with up to a fifth of workers feared to be off at the peak of any outbreak.

He hinted: “So we’re actively looking at ways that we can help support businesses, especially those small and medium sized businesses you mentioned, a bridge through a temporary period of difficulty so that they can emerge on the other side and we can get back to normal quickly.”

Announcing his budget on Wednesday, Mr Sunak is expected to rip up the fiscal rules set by his predecessor Sajid Javid,

He repeatedly refused to rule out doing so, with a wealth of investment expected despite the uncertainty.

Other announcements in the budget include flood support funding, which he revealed today was being doubled to £2.6billion.

The Prime Minister this afternoon was heckled with shouts of "traitor" as he finally visited a flood site after announcing a £5billion boost.

It is the PM’s first visit to anywhere affected by floods since the extreme weather began battering Britain last month.

This is expected to be targeted in every region, and will be available from next April.

Other measures expected to be announced are a £643million investment to help rough sleepers off the streets.

Last month it was revealed around 25,000 individuals slept rough in England at some point last year.

The PM has branded the numbers "way too high", and vowed to end homelessness "once and for all".

Cash will go into "move-on accommodation", with the PM promising to make a "big, big dent in those numbers".

Up to £100million more per year will also go towards the fight against 'dirty money', with a new levy on firms regulated for anti-money laundering.

Mr Sunak explained: "Criminals will have nowhere left to hide their illicit earnings. We’re going to put more financial investigators and better technology on the frontline to fight against money laundering.”

There is also likely to be millions made available for state-of-the-art football pitches in hard-hit communities.

Last year the PM promised to put his “heart and soul” into bringing the 2030 World Cup to Britain, part of which would see every family 15 minutes from a high-quality football pitch.

Families could also receive a boost, with a new neonatal pay and leave entitlement for parents of sick newborn babies expected.

He is also tipped to end a freeze of fuel duty, despite huge opposition from some Tory MPs.

A survey of motorists shows that only 34 per cent would stick with the Tories if he goes ahead with a hike.

The five per cent rate of VAT on sanitary products be abolished, also known as the “tampon tax”.

Saving the average woman £40 over her lifetime, it comes after a 20-year campaign by women’s rights activists.

There could also be new laws designed to ensure that millions of people have access to cash amid mass bank closures.

With two million people still reliant on cash for everyday spending, watchdogs could be given the power to force banks to make cash available.

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