The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that the government will step in to help businesses and individuals affected by coronavirus.
Rishi Sunak addressed the nation at today’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Downing Street.
The Prime Minister began the briefing by saying that the new measures he announced yesterday will reduce suffering, adding: “I stress that although the measures are extreme, we may have to go further and faster in the coming days to protect the NHS.”
Rishi Sunak then took over, saying he will do ‘whatever it takes’ to support the economy, saying the UK needs a ‘collective national effort’ to protect people and businesses devastated by coronavirus.
He added: “This government will give you all the tools you need to get through this – we will support people, support jobs, we will do whatever it takes.”
As part of this, mortgage lenders are set to offer a three month ‘mortgage holiday’ to help protect anyone who cannot afford to pay, according to the Chancellor, added that they will go ‘much further’ over the coming days.
While a number of banks, including Halifax, Lloyds, RBS, NatWest, TSB, Virgin Money, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank say they already give customers the option to pause mortgage payments if they’re struggling, now others will also have to give coronavirus-hit customers a break from paying.
At this point, it’s unclear what help renters will receive.
The Chancellor went on to unveil an ‘unprecedented package’, giving businesses access to £330bn of government backed loans.
Small businesses can access a loan of up to £5 million, with no interest due in first six months.
For the retail and hospitality sector, he announced a package of no business rates, alongside a £25,000 cash grant available to everyone.
On top of that, the Chancellor addressed people’s concerns about whether insurers would pay out to pubs, clubs and cafes, saying that the Government will make sure insured businesses receive payouts, and non-insured companies get payouts of £25,000.
Blackpool is set to get a new £300m ‘indoor theme park’
This looks so good!
The latest development proposals for Blackpool will be the single biggest investment in the seaside town for more than a century.
The range of new attractions will include the UK’s first flying theatre, the world’s first multimedia exhibition of its kind and the most advanced virtual reality experience on an epic scale.
The development is set to span across a 17-acre plot, attracting 600,000 additional visitors a year and contribute a massive £75m a year too.
There will also be 1,000 new jobs for the people of Blackpool created as part of the development.
Based on the novels written by Eric Von Däniken in the 1960s and 1970s, the site will follow the theme of ‘Chariots of the Gods’.
It will include unsolved mysteries of the past such as the Pyramids of Egypt and Mexico as well as ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter Island and even alien visitors!
Flying Theatre True flight movement will provide an unparalleled real-flying sensation and is the number one attraction across major cities and theme parks. The world’s most advanced VR experience will also find a new home in Blackpool with state-of-the-art visuals, body tracking and even touch and smell.
The development will also house a new restaurant with a breathtaking ‘rollercoaster service‘, in a one-of-a-kind place of fun, adventure and discovery, all serving healthy and organic food.
Blackpool is currently working with Media Investment Entertainment – who own the intellectual property of Chariots of the Gods – and Nikal Ltd to help unlock the development of this opportunity.
The new development is set to be delivered over an eight to nine-year period and will bring new hotels, restaurants, food market, event square, residential apartments and multi-storey parking.
Boris Johnson confirms England will return to three tier system from December 2nd
Boris Johnson addressed the Commons remotely today, to lay out his ‘Covid Winter Plan’.
The Prime Minister spoke to MPs via videolink as he is still self-isolating.
Mr Johnson confirmed that England would be returning to the regional three tier system which was in place before lockdown began.
However, he announced that the three tiers would each become stricter to try and stop the spread of the virus.
In Tier 1, people should work from home where it is possible, while in Tier 2 alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal, and in Tier 3 indoor entertainment, hotels and all hospitality will have to close – except for deliveries and takeaways.
Also in Tiers 1 and 2, the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars will end, with last orders being at 10pm and establishments closing at 11pm, allowing people to leave in a more staggered way.
The Prime Minister confirmed that gyms, hairdressers, salons and all shops could reopen at the end of lockdown, and that outdoor sports can resume.
He also announced that some fans will be allowed back into sports stadiums in Tier 1 and 2 areas.
Mr Johnson said that ‘more regions will temporarily fall into the higher levels’, but that with mass testing it should be possible for these areas to move into lower tiers.
The government is also working with the devolved administrations of the UK to come up with a plan for Christmas, according to the Prime Minister, although he added: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year”.
The government is also planning to ‘end automatic isolation’ for anyone who has come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, with a testing scheme replacing it, which will be piloted in Liverpool.
In the pilot, people who have come into contact with anyone who’s tested positive will be tested every day for a week – they’ll only need to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus.
It’s expected the details of what tier the different regions and areas of England will be placed in will be announced on Thursday.
Morrisons gives 10% Christmas discount to frontline workers in 16 jobs
As a ‘thank you’ to thousands of frontline workers, Morrisons will be providing a 10% discount to people from now until Christmas.
Those employed in the emergency services, care workers and Armed Forces personnel who hold a Blue Light Card will qualify for the benefit at Morrisons stores.
Cardholders will be able to claim the 10% discount on their groceries by presenting their Blue Light ID Card at tills at any of Morrisons 498 stores.
Morrisons have launched the discount to show appreciation to the key workers who have gone above and beyond their usual roles throughout the pandemic this year.
People in these roles qualify:
- Ambulance Service
- Border Force
- British Army
- Fire Service
- HM Coastguard
- Prison Service
- Red Cross
- Reserve Armed Force
- Royal Air Force
- Royal Marines
- Royal Navy
- Social care workers
- HM Armed Forces Veterans
- Community First Responders
- Second Line Responders
David Potts, Morrisons’ chief executive said: “Our emergency services, social care sector and armed forces have worked tirelessly this year to provide support to the many people who need it across the UK, often in exceptionally difficult circumstances.