Rescue plan a 'last resort' for major companies
By Rob Freeman | 26th May 2020
Major firms which have taken huge hits during the coronavirus pandemic could be rescued by government support.
A bailout plan named Project Birch could see the Government extend existing loans and even take a stake in companies fighting to survive.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has put forward the scheme as a potential help to the troubled aviation industry while Jaguar Land Rover is in talks to secure a £1billion loan.
A Treasury spokeswoman said: "We have put in place unprecedented levels of support to help businesses get through the crisis.
"In exceptional circumstances, where a viable company has exhausted all options and its failure would disproportionately harm the economy, we may consider support on a last resort basis.
"As the British public would expect, we are putting in place sensible contingency planning and any such support would be on terms that protect the taxpayer."
Stephen Kinnock MP told Parliament that Tata Steel needs around £500million to survive the crisis with Sky News reporting the company has approached both the Welsh and UK governments for help.
And the Financial Times said senior aviation industry bosses have asked for a "long-term investment facility".
The German Government has helped to rescue national airline Lufthansa with an £8billion support package while the French and Dutch governments have backed Air France-KLM.
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