19 Jan 2021Ahead of the 2021 Budget in March, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the government to provide more financial assistance to businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The business group has outlined support measures required to help protect UK businesses through the spring. It has called for an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) beyond April to the end of June; a lengthening of repayment periods for existing VAT deferrals until June 2021; and an extension of the business rates holiday for at least another three months. The CBI has also called for an announcement of details of the successor of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). 'The Budget comes at a crucial time for the UK,' said Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI. 'Almost a year of disrupted demand and extensive restrictions to company operations is taking its toll. Staff morale has taken a hit. And business resilience has hit a sobering new low. 'The government must once again stand shoulder-to-shoulder with businesses to underwrite support for the duration, helping viable enterprises to last the course.' The Budget will be delivered on Wednesday 3 March 2021.