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County council leader welcomes Chancellor’s budget announcement

Measures to back businesses and communities announced by the Chancellor yesterday

will support the range of Staffordshire programmes in place to reduce the impact of the pandemic, the county council leader has said.

Staffordshire County Council leader Alan White welcomed additional investment in the national vaccine roll-out in addition to the furlough scheme extension, more grants to restart businesses, support for self-employed people and more.

In his budget statement Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the existing job retention (furlough) scheme will be extended until the end of September, a £5billion investment to support town centre businesses to reopen, funding for arts and sports organisations, grants for self-employed workers and more investment for traineeships. The national Covid-19 vaccination programme will receive a £1.6billion boost and there will be £19million funding to tackle domestic abuse.

Alan White said:

The Chancellor’s commitment to continued support for businesses and employees through the pandemic recovery is vital and will provide much-needed reassurance to communities here in Staffordshire and nationally. He has set out critical initiatives in line with the roadmap out of the pandemic restrictions which we welcome – from ensuring businesses can retain employees to supporting those that have had to close to reopen. In Staffordshire we have worked hard since the March 2020 lockdown to put in place targeted business and employee support with our partners where we knew it was needed most, making it easily accessible from day one. Just this week we have launched our latest business support programmes, working with our district and borough councils to make our shared resources work as effectively as possible. Together with national and regional initiatives they can make a difference now so that businesses can survive and thrive. The additional funding for the vaccination programme will enhance the superb efforts here in Staffordshire, complemented by our community testing. This will be a hugely challenging year for everyone, but with the vaccine success, ongoing business support and a roadmap to recovery set out, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”


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