Rishi Sunak will put jobs at the heart of his set-piece economic statement next week as he tries to avert a post-coronavirus catastrophe, but he has told Tory MPs not to expect big tax cuts to boost the economy.
The chancellor’s attempt to manage expectations over fiscal stimulus measures came as Boris Johnson disappointed business leaders by confirming that the government would phase out the job retention scheme by October.
As the economy opened up, furloughed workers were simply being kept in “suspended animation”, the prime minister said in an interview with London’s Evening Standard.
Mr Sunak’s statement will mark a shift in his coronavirus strategy from a support phase, where the government “wrapped its arms around the UK economy”, to a stimulus phase, where it encourages households and companies to spend as normally as possible.
During the pandemic, the chancellor has sought to play down expectations before announcing more