March 20, 2020 / 6:29 PM / 10 days ago

UK aims to finance coronavirus measures through normal debt issuance

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will aim to meet the cost of unprecedented measures to keep people in jobs through the coronavirus crisis via normal debt issuance, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday.

Sunak said there would be no cap on a scheme to pay 80% of workers’ wages, which will initially run for three months.

“Our intention is to finance the package through the government’s normal debt management operations,” Sunak said.

“The DMO, Treasury and Bank of England are coordinating closely to support the functioning of the gilt markets and we’re very confident that we can finance it in that way.”

The Bank of England said on Thursday it would buy 200 billion pounds ($233 billion) of government debt to boost the economy from investors, but it kept the door open to buy direct from the government if needed.

Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Kate Holton

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