Budget to provide fresh Covid rescue package as tax rises deferred

Rishi Sunak backs cautious reopening, as PM says hospitality venues will have to wait

Rishi Sunak’s March budget will be a fresh Covid rescue package that will defer plans for significant tax increases as the chancellor throws his weight behind a cautious approach to reopening the economy, government sources have confirmed.

Boris Johnson signalled on Wednesday that the government would take a slow path towards reopening hospitality, which could mean pubs and restaurants are not able to serve customers without restrictions on groups until June or July. Even then, venues are likely to need to continue to have social distancing measures in place.

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