U.K. Eyes Delayed Tax Rise, End to Stamp Duty Holiday: Times

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is expected to postpone tax rises until after the summer at the earliest because of concerns about the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, The Times reported on Saturday.

The nation under severe lockdown restrictions and facing a recession makes it difficult to introduce the tax rises in the March budget, the newspaper said, citing a senior government official it did not identify. It’s still too early to say if the tax rises would be included in the budget, the person said.

No decisions have been taken this far in advance, given the amount of uncertainty in the current outlook, a Treasury officicial, who declined to be identified because the discussions aren’t public, told Bloomberg.

The moves come as the government is likely to borrow 370 billion pounds ($502 billion) this year, more than double the 158 billion-pound deficit at the peak year of the financial crisis, according to the report.

Sunak has also rejected calls to extend the stamp duty holiday on home purchases, which was introduced in July and exempted most buyers from paying the levy if they completed the purchase before March 31 this year, the paper said, without citing anyone.

The measure was supposed to be temporary to stimulate the economy.

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