The £4.6bn support package is welcome but firms need clarity long before the March budget

Thanks for the latest £4.6bn support package, chancellor, but when will you be serving the main course? That was the gist of the business world’s response to Rishi Sunak’s announcement of grants for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. One could call the reply churlish, but companies’ demand for clarity – and soon – is entirely fair.

Decisions on jobs and investment for the spring are being made now. If Sunak intends to extend the business rates holiday beyond March, or the furlough scheme beyond April, he needs to hurry up and make the announcement.

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