Recession-proofing and ‘levelling up’ measures announced in Budget

In the Budget, the Chancellor announced a wave of coronavirus-battling measures to help businesses and retailers. In total he announced £12bn to buttress the economy against the immediate threat of recession due to the spread of coronavirus, and £18bn on ‘levelling up’ across the UK to deliver on the Governments election promise.

The Chancellor said he was prepared to do more if necessary, after announcing cash grants, credit guarantees, and a business rates holiday for small and medium sized companies likely to be affected by a dramatic drop in consumer demand triggered by a Covid-19 slowdown.

Torsten Bell, the chief executive of the Resolution Foundation thinktank, said: “Significant action to support firms affected by coronavirus is very welcome and should help ensure the temporary shock does not do them lasting damage.’

The lifelines were welcomed as ‘vital contingencies’ for firms and entrepreneurs, by Mike Cherry from the Federation of Small Businesses, but he warned ‘there may need to be further steps in the weeks and months ahead.’