Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that extra economic support is on the way but warned that the economy will get worse before it gets better.

Speaking during Treasury Questions in the Commons yesterday (26 January) Sunak warned Tory MPs that the cost of the new coronavirus bailouts they are demanding could reach £30bn, and urged patience among backbenchers, stating that additional measures would be unveiled in the budget on 3 March.

Sunak was faced with calls to approve a range of new measures, as well as extensions to existing schemes in order to support both businesses and families, including the continuation of the cut in VAT and an extension to business rates relief.

Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne, asked that the cut on VAT become permanent for the hospitality sector. “I have long believed there was a compelling case for reducing VAT for the hospitality sector, and the pandemic-inspired cut helped to save the season between lockdowns,” she said.

While Ian Levy, the MP for Blyth Valley asked that the government consider “reinstating” the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, or similar, once lockdown measures are lifted.

Sunak said he would review all economic support schemes at the Budget. “I have put in place a series of measures but I have always said that we cannot protect or save every job and every business”.

Figures published by the ONS yesterday revealed the largest annual increase in unemployment in the accommodation and food services sector.

Responding to the labour market statistics, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, said: “This is a reminder, not that it is needed, that we have been hit hardest by this. Unless we want to see unemployment in our sector rise even further, we need more support to keep businesses alive and these jobs secure. The VAT cut and business rates holiday must be extended to give employers some breathing room to keep jobs safe.”