Chancellor Rishi Sunak has scrapped stamp duty for homes under £500,000 and slashed VAT on the hospitality sector – with Britons to be given money-off restaurant vouchers throughout August - in his emergency “mini-budget”, as he announced the government’s coronavirus furlough scheme will end in October.
It came after Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer clashed in the Commons, with the Labour leader accusing the prime minister of “rubbing salt in the wounds” of care home workers with his comments that they had failed to follow procedures as Covid-19 deaths soared. Mr Johnson said the government took “full responsibility” but failed to directly apologise for his comments.
Meanwhile, the finance ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also written to the chancellor to demand Westminster hand over “crucial” but “relatively limited” fiscal powers in light of the coronavirus crisis, to allow capital spending to be moved over to day-to-day revenue and bring an end to “arbitrary” borrowing limits.
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