As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a heavy economy toll, Rishi Sunak this week announced a £30bn aid package that will take the UK government’s total spend on relief measures to £188.7bn.
The new plans include a stamp duty holiday and hospitality VAT cut, as well as an “eat out to help out” discount scheme to give diners 50% off their bill in restaurants, cafes and pubs during August.
The chancellor has not shied away from releasing funds to tackle the various impacts of the health crisis. The Treasury has revealed that £10bn has been spent on a test-and-trace system that is still not fully operational.
Labour has suggested that some of the nation’s mounting coronavirus debt could be paid off through a “wealth tax” on individuals with assets worth more than £750,000, either as an ongoing levy or a one-off windfall measure to raise funds.
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The leading medical expert in the US has warned that the country is still “knee-deep” in its first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the latest steep increases in confirmed infections, which have doubled in just over a week, “would not be considered a wave” but a “surge”.
With voters reportedly turning on Donald Trump over his handling of the crisis, the the Republican incumbent appears to be heading for a major defeat at the upcoming presidential election.
In a further twist, rapper Kanye West has announced his candidacy in the battle to become the next US leader. But critics fear that the musician might prove even less successful than Trump in tackling the ongoing pandemic if he won the White House.
Asked about the development of a coronavirus vaccine, Kanye said that such drugs were causing children to become “paralysed” and were “the mark of the beast”.