Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Will Get An Extra £1.65bn Boost To Help Meet The July 31st Target
The government plans to put an additional £1.65bn into the UK's vaccine rollout in an effort to offer coronavirus jabs to all adults nationwide by the end of July.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that he would include the extra financial support for the rollout in his Budget along with fresh funding for vaccine testing and combatting new variants of the virus.
“The UK’s vaccination programme has been a great success and is protecting lives and livelihoods, with over 19 million people already receiving their first dose.
“But it’s essential we maintain this momentum," Sunak said on Sunday evening.
“Protecting ourselves against the virus means we will be able to lift restrictions, reopen our economy and focus our attention on creating jobs and stimulating growth".
The announcement came after the number of adults who have received their first dose of the vaccine surpassed 20 million over the weekend.
Sunak is also set to announce a £33m package for testing vaccines and responding to new variants of the virus when he delivers his highly-anticipated Budget on Wednesday afternoon.
This package is set to include £5m for the creation of a vaccine "library" at the Centre for Process Innovation in Darlington, which will focus on responding to new variants of the disease.
Sunak is also expected to put £22m towards research into whether different vaccines can be used together and the effectiveness of giving people a third dose of the jab.All eyes will be on the Chancellor on Wednesday as he sets out the government's plan for rebuilding the economy as the country emerges from the lockdown.
The Treasury has already announced that it is giving a £5bn package of cash grants to shops, pubs, hair salons and other high-street businesses to help them re-open in a few months time.
Sunak is also expected to reveal plans to raise corporation tax and freeze the rate at which workers start paying income tax, as the government tries to generate the money it says is needed to repair the country's finances following months of businesses being closed.
The national debt currently stands at around £2.13 trillion.
The government is under pressure to maintain the £20 uplift to Universal Credit amid warnings that struggling families will continue to need the support as the UK gradually emerges from lockdown.
Sunak also faces calls from industry groups to keep VAT at 5% and extend the business rate holiday with some businesses, like pubs with limited space, not expected to reopen until June.
The Treasury has confirmed that Sunak will reveal details of a mortage guarantee scheme designed to help people with smaller deposits get on the property ladder, the BBC reports.