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UK launches new £4.6 bn plan to help virus-hit firms

LondonUnited Kingdom, Jan 5 –The UK government on Tuesday launched an extra £4.6-billion package for virus-battered businesses as England began a fresh lockdown set to last weeks.

The financial support, equivalent to $6.3 billion or 5.1 billion euros, “will help businesses to get through the months ahead — and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen”, finance minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

Sunak announced grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring.

Other impacted businesses would share £594 million.

The UK government has already pumped out billions of pounds in support since early 2020 when the nation went into a first lockdown over the coronavirus.

At the heart of this is a state furlough scheme paying the bulk of wages for private sector workers.

The Bank of England is also pumping out vast sums of cash to prop up the economy.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the Spring,” Sunak said.

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