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8 April 2020

Daily briefing with Rishi Sunak, Stephen Powis, Angela McLean – new measures announced to support charity sector


Key points in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's statement include the following. He gives updates on daily figures and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's condition. He says several government measures have focused on businesses, but charities have 'not been forgotten'. Rishi Sunak describes how charities can already use existing government schemes set up in response to COVID-19 to protect their staff (eg the job retention scheme). But some charities will not be able to furlough employees: 'some charities are on the front line of fighting the coronavirus, and others provide critical services and support to vulnerable people and communities'. £750m of funding is announced for charities. This includes '£370m of that funding will support small, local charities working with vulnerable people' – £60m of this funding through the Barnett formula to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland'. It also includes '£360m directly to charities providing essential services and supporting vulnerable people, as we battle the coronavirus' – £200m of which will go to hospices. The government will also match every pound raised through the BBC's Big Night In charity appeal, 'starting with at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust appeal'. He finishes his speech with the line that charities remind us that 'we depend on each other'. In the Q&A, on reviewing lockdown measures Rishi Sunak says that there will be a COBR meeting the following day with the devolved administrations to discuss the approach to reviewing the lockdown measures. This will be based on evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) available next week. He also confirms that negotiations with the EU are continuing.

Presenting the latest data, Deputy Government Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Angela McLean includes these key points. She says the count of new daily cases in the UK is 'not accelerating out of control'. Some parts of the country are seeing data on COVID-19 patients in critical care flattening.


Gov.uk speech

Gov.uk policy paper – slides and dataset