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Britain pledges £30b package to combat coronavirus

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Rishi Sunak, UK chancellor of the exchequer unveiled Wednesday a package of stimulus measures worth £30 billion (S$53.8 billion) to fight the growing threat from the coronavirus epidemic to the economy.

[LONDON] Britain unveiled Wednesday a package of stimulus measures worth £30 billion (S$53.8 billion) to fight the growing threat from the coronavirus epidemic to the economy.

"I am announcing today in total a £30-billion fiscal stimulus to support British people, British jobs and British businesses through this moment. And of course if further action is needed if the situation evolves... I will not hesitate to act," finance minister Rishi Sunak said in the country's first post-Brexit budget.

He told parliament it was a "comprehensive" response to the virus fallout.

Mr Sunak said the economy faced a "significant impact" from the spread of the virus, even if the hit would be temporary.

"Our economy is robust, our public finances are sound, our public services are well-prepared," he said as he began an annual budget speech to parliament on Wednesday.

"I will do whatever it takes to support the economy."

AFP, REUTERS