Rishi Sunak talks down VAT cuts & bailing out firms as ‘it’s taxpayers’ money’
RISHI Sunak today talked down VAT cuts and bailing out British businesses which fail as a result of coronavirus – saying he has to use taxpayers’ money wisely.
He told Bloomberg he would set an “exceptionally high bar” for whether to help firms out – and they must explore all other avenues first.
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And most people’s household finances are in good shape because of the furlough scheme, he added.
He said in an interview this lunchtime: “This is not my money.
“It’s not government’s money. This is taxpayers’ money. I shouldn’t be sitting here trying to pick winners.”
Any support would have to be with “significant strings attached” and would only come after all other avenues have been explored, he said.
It should be “extremely rare” to bail out businesses, he stressed.
“One would expect financial investors and creditors to significantly share in the burden of that, and all other venues explored.
“Support like that would come with significant strings attracted. All of that would be to protect the taxpayer. “
He also played down the possibility of a cut to VAT soon – saying most people’s finances had weathered coronavirus quite well.
Former Chancellor Sajid Javid and others have urged him to cut VAT to get Britain spending.
The Chancellor, 40, said income was “less an issue” and “psychology more a challenge” to get Brits to part with their cash..
He added: “You can paint a picture of household balance sheets being in robust health.
“The number one thing is confidence to return to doing the things they were doing three months ago.”
The PM is set to visit a restaurant in East London this afternoon as part of a visit to encourage people to go out and spend cash again – as long as it’s safe to do so.
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Pubs, restuarants and other hospitality sectors are set to reopen from July 4.
But they will have abide by strict social distancing rules even though the 2m rule has been cut.
Police have warned they will face more violence and disorder on what is being dubbed “Super Saturday”.
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