British Finance Minister Sunak plans emergency cut in value-added tax: The Times

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor Rishi Sunak chairs the daily COVID-19 briefing at 10 Downing Street with NHS Medical Director for England Professor Stephen Powis (not pictured) in London, Britain May 29, 2020. Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is ready to cut the value-added tax (VAT) as part of the government’s latest efforts to tackle economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

Sunak has ordered officials to prepare options for reducing the sales tax, including a cut in the headline rate, and zero rating more products for a fixed period, the newspaper reported

The finance minister may announce lowering the VAT and business rates in a speech in early July, the report added, citing officials.

Britain temporarily cut its value-added tax in 2008 during the global financial crisis, and Germany will do the same from July 1 for six months.

Sunak earlier suggested he was open to the idea but would first need to see how quickly consumers resumed spending.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown