Coronavirus crisis sees UK interest rates cut to lowest level ever

The Bank of England has cut interest rates in an emergency move as it tries to support the UK economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

20 Mar 2020

The Bank of England has cut interest rates in an emergency move as it tries to support the UK economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the second cut in interest rates in just over a week, bringing them down to 0.1% from 0.25%.

Interest rates are now at the lowest ever in the Bank's 325-year history.

The cut comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce an employment and wage subsidy package to try to protect millions of jobs.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has been urging the government to make use of wage subsidies in order to protect UK jobs and workers' wages during the coronavirus crisis.

The TUC recently published a report in which it outlined five proposals that are 'urgently needed'.

The business group has called for the government to provide wage subsidies for short-term working, following the examples set by governments in Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

Commenting on the issue, Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: 'The Chancellor's announcements so far will help protect businesses. But he must now urgently step up the protections that workers need too.

'Many other countries are using government wage subsidies to stop job losses and keep up economic activity. We need it too.

'Unions and businesses want to fully play their part in protecting the nation. The government must urgently bring them together a national taskforce, so we can put these measures into action in the best way for working people and our economy.'

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