U.K. Pumps Billions Into Its Ailing Economy to Keep Crisis at Bay

The U.K. government announced up to $38 billion in fresh stimulus measures intended to boost the country’s economy as it exits lockdown, a path that is also being considered by other rich nations as they seek to prevent the economic shock of the pandemic from snowballing into a multiyear slowdown that could leave deep scars on their societies, businesses and economies, the Wall Street Journal reported. Since lockdowns designed to contain the novel coronavirus became widespread in March, governments around the world have committed trillions of dollars to ensuring the survival of businesses that saw their revenues tumble and to supporting household incomes as the number of hours worked plummeted. The U.K.’s new package marks the start of a second phase of government spending and tax cuts designed to boost demand and give businesses the confidence to put their employees back to work as the lockdown is lifted. “We need people feeling confident,” Rishi Sunak, the government’s treasury chief, told lawmakers. “That will drive growth,” he said. “That will create jobs.” The package included payments to businesses for retaining furloughed workers and hiring young people, as well as grants to make homes and public buildings more energy efficient. There were also cuts in taxes on hospitality and home purchases. Read more. (Subscription required.)