Chancellor Rishi Sunak took to the despatch box in the House of Commons shortly after 12.30pm on Wednesday (3 March) to deliver his Budget statement.
He announced an extension to the furlough scheme, new high street grants, and extra support for the self-employed, among other measures to support the economy as the UK seeks to emerge from the Covid crisis in the spring.
This year’s Budget is the first since the onset of the coronavirus crisis last March, which prompted Sunak to announce wide-ranging economic support measures – many of which remain in place today – just a few days after delivering the government’s annual fiscal plan on 11 March.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics have since revealed travel and tourism has been the sector hardest hit by the effects of the Covid crisis, with international travel demand – in particular – hugely depressed owing to travel restrictions.
Abta has urged the government to address its "blind spot" to travel which it says has meant "large swathes of the travel industry – including tour operators and homeworkers – have been excluded from support".
It is calling for tailored support for travel, along with an extension to the furlough scheme, high street support grants, and further business rates relief.
TTG will be bringing you live updates below from 12.30pm on the chancellor’s key Budget announcements, as well as further reaction throughout the afternoon via ttgmedia.com.