U.K. Covid-Relief: UK Plc. Relieved by Rishi Sunak’s plan, but Want More Action

Rishi Sunak on his way to present his ‘Winter Economy Plan’ at Parliament in London on Sept. 24.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

A U.K. government pledge to top up wages for targeted industries suffering from Covid-19 brought a measure of relief to businesses, even as some of the hardest-hit sectors, from pubs to airlines, said more is needed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plan will subsidize the wages of people working part time, extend loans for companies hit by the virus and keep the value-added tax at 5% to bolster the beleaguered hospitality and tourism industries.

The steps are a vital boost to industry, said Adam Marshall, head of the British Chambers of Commerce. Yet Nick Mackenzie, chief executive officer of pub chain Greene King, said they don’t go far enough, especially for businesses hurt by the government’s latest measures to rein in the pandemic.

“The industry is still dealing

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