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Chancellor reassures firms in coronavirus Q&A session on Twitter

PUBLISHED: 16:10 04 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:10 04 April 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Picture: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Picture: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

Rishi Sunak gave a video Q and A on social media after queries from bosses on Twitter.

Sunak, bespectacled and wearing an open neck shirt sat in his library taking questions ranging from football clubs to Universal Credit.

In the #AskRishi session on Twitter, the chancellor answered a number of issues raised by concerned members of the public.

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One firm with 100 employees stated its banks had “used numerous ways to deny us access to the coronavirus business interruption loan”.

Sunak reiterated the changes to the loan system, saying that banks would no longer be able to ask for a personal guarantee. He also said the eligibility criteria which had granted a loan only if a business couldn’t get an alternative commercial loan, had been stopped.

To another question about the fact a bank did not offer the loan at all, Sunak said there were about 30 offering it and firms did not need to be an existing customer. He said new providers were being brought on next week.

To another query on people who accepted or started jobs after February 28, and aren’t eligible for furloughing, Sunak said: “If you were on payroll before February 28 and left for any reason it is entirely possible to ask your company to take you back and furlough you. For those who worked after February 28, Sunak said the government did not want to be open to fraudulent claims and wanted to be fair to the tax payer “who’s ultimately going to be paying for all of this.”

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Sunak also said promises made for the NHS before coronavirus would be kept. And to a question about football clubs taking advantage of the furlough scheme, the chancellor said: “We are all in this together and it’s encumbent on all businesses to act responsibly.”

You can ask a question by tweeting #AskRishi

For more updates on coronavirus in Norfolk see the Facebook page here


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