(C) Reuters. A triage nurse waits for patients in the Emergency Department at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey
LONDON (Reuters) – The cost of Britain’s emergency spending and its tax cuts to soften the economic hit from the coronavirus crisis is likely to be 132.5 billion pounds ($166.1 billion), up from a previous estimate of 123.2 billion pounds, the country’s budget watchdog said.
The Office for Budget Responsibility updated its estimates after finance minister Rishi Sunak provided details of a four-month extension of the government’s wage subsidy scheme.
The OBR has previously estimated that Britain is on course for a roughly 300 billion-pound hole in its public finances this financial year, including the loss of tax revenues caused by the government’s shutdown of much of the economy as well as the cost of its emergency spending and tax measures.
Cost of UK response to COVID rises to 132.5 billion pounds: OBR
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