UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus: Help for renters amid pandemic to be unveiled ‘very shortly’

By March 18, 2020 No Comments
Freelance workers have spoken of the uncertainty they face

The government will soon set out measures to help people who rent, as the coronavirus pandemic continues, a minister has told Sky News.

Speaking to Kay Burley@Breakfast, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “There are millions of renters across the country and some of them will be facing this anxiety.

“The chancellor was very clear yesterday that the housing secretary will be coming forward very shortly to set out a statement on how we will make sure there is protection for renters as well.”



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The number of confirmed cases in the UK has reached 1,950, with a total of 71 people dying after testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The pledge to come to the aid of renters comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled “unprecedented” help for businesses and families.

The package includes government-backed loans worth £330bn and a three-month mortgage holiday for homeowners.

There will also be £20bn of extra spending on grants, and business rates holidays for companies.

“We have never, in peacetime, faced an economic fight like this one,” Mr Sunak said at the government’s daily coronavirus news conference.

“I know that people are deeply worried. I know that people’s anxiety about the disease itself is matched only by their anxiety about their livelihoods.”







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Describing the coronavirus crisis as “not a time for ideology and orthodoxy” but “a time to be bold, a time for courage”, the chancellor told businesses and households: “This government will give you all the tools you need to get through this.”

The lack of action to help renters was mentioned by Labour’s John McDonnell when he said the chancellor’s measures “still do not go far enough”.

“People are being laid off today and losing their incomes,” he said.



Chancellor Rishi Sunak speaking at a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Coronavirus (COVID-19). Picture date: Tuesday March 17, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Matt Dunham/PA Wire



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“We are disappointed that this package does not address their concerns.

“The further announcements laid out by the chancellor lack the certainty required amidst growing public anxiety, and still do not go far enough in protecting workers, renters and those who are losing their jobs, or in fully supporting businesses at the scale necessary.”

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The issue is likely to feature at PMQs, when Boris Johnson will face MPs for the first time since the government unveiled its “national fightback” against COVID-19.

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