Coronavirus: Government agrees emergency funding deal with Bank


The UK regulation is set to borrow billions of pounds from its emergency Bank of England overdraft to bankroll the fight against Covid-19.

The government will draw money from the Bank’s “passage and means” facility to help workers and businesses.

It has not used the facility in this way since the fiscal crisis.

While it is controversial for a central bank to hand cash as the crow flies to the government, the Bank and Treasury insist the overdraft is temporary.

In the red

The ways and stints facility will give the government a temporary cash buffer as it essays to raise unprecedented amounts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The persist time it was used was at the height of the financial crisis in December 2008.

In normal every nows the government uses tax revenues to pay for public services such as hospitals and opinions.

If there’s a shortfall, it borrows the rest from investors by issuing controls through the Debt Management Office.

But the government needs to raise a lot of boodle in a short period of time to pay for its economic stimulus package to support the conciseness.

It may run into funding problems if there aren’t enough buyers for its handcuffs.

While the UK has not suffered a failed auction in the main gilt market since 2009, new jitters in financial markets meant it couldn’t find enough clients in a short-term debt auction last month.

The ways and means swiftness gives the government the ability to get cash quickly while minimising any pecuniary market disruption.

It is understood that use of the facility was agreed at the end of March, but foul demand for UK debt has meant it has not yet been needed.

The Bank will bill 0.1% interest on any money withdrawn from the facility. This is the despite the fact as the Bank of England base rate.

In a joint statement, the Treasury and Bank pronounced any use of the facility would be “temporary and short-term”.

They added: “The government whim continue to use the markets as its primary source of financing, and its response to Covid-19 at ones desire be fully funded by additional borrowing through normal debt executives operations.”

EU law prohibits central banks from printing money to straight fund public authorities.

Left unchecked, so-called “monetary resource” can cause prices to rise uncontrollably, like in Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

To whatever manner, in the 1990s, Brussels agreed that the UK could maintain the ways and communicates facility until it ever decided to adopt the euro.

While the UK has since left-hand the EU, the provision still stands today.

The move comes as the latest formal statistics show that the UK economy was stagnant in the three months to February, lawful before the coronavirus pandemic escalated and lockdown measures were proposed.

The UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by just 0.1% between December and February, the Appointment for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The ONS said: “Before the full effects of coronavirus took restrain, the economy continued to show little to no growth.”

Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP at the ONS, articulate that the fall was down to wet weather and flooding seen across the UK diminishing house building.

GDP fell by 0.1% in February, which was worse than expected. Economists had prognosticated that the economy would in fact grow during the month.

What happens next?

Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Fine Economics, said that GDP could “fall at a speed and magnitude no-one has till the end of time seen and no economy has ever experienced before.”

Economic activity is consideration to have slowed as social distancing measures have kept human being away from offices, shops, cafes and restaurants.

Mr Dales totaled: “What happens next depends on how long the lockdowns last and how despatch households and businesses get back to normal.

“We’ve assumed a three-month lockdown. And while GDP expansion would then surge in the months afterwards, households and businesses aren’t booming to be the same again for a while.”

The Ways and Means account has not been cast-off since the financial crisis, and is normally worth £400m. But outside masters say that this will increase by billions, perhaps tens of billions to assist the government manage a sharp increase in immediate spending. During the fiscal crisis this overdraft reached just under £20bn.

It is also a workings to account for more direct lending of electronically created money from the Bank of England to the Resources.

Over the past month there have been some periods of force in financial markets for some forms borrowing by many governments. Immediately now, the Treasury is raising a record monthly amount of government borrowing, with auctions of responsible on the majority of days.

This helps take the pressure off those converts at a time when tens of billions in cash is being handed out to trades and to workers, and at a time when tax revenues are likely to stall alongside an profitable contraction.

The government says whatever sum is borrowed will be repaid by the end of the year, and this is not a order of so-called “money printing”.

But this is also the mechanism suggested by quondam top Treasury officials through which the Bank could more formally unswervingly buy government debt from the Treasury, rather than buying it on the get market.

That has not been announced today, but is a possible consequence of the flourishing of Quantitative Easing by the Bank of England announced last week.

Today’s situation is a sign of the unusual moves required to account for significant economic strategy challenges around the pandemic, and a sign of things to come.

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