Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks to a member of staff during his visit to the headquarters of energy supplier Octopus Energy in London on October 05, 2020. (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

UK finance minister Rishi Sunak on Monday(2) said that the government will seek to lift its four-week coronavirus lockdown for England in early December.

There were reports that the lockdown might be extended.

“Our hope and expectation is, on the basis of everything that we know today, that these measures will be sufficient to bring the R rate to where we need it to be, and therefore we can exit back into the tiered approach,” Sunak told BBC radio.

He also told the BBC that he would increase financial support for self-employed people after he announced on Saturday a one-month return to 80 per cent wage subsidies for employed people who are temporarily laid off.

British prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday(31) ordered a lockdown for England from Thursday(5), a move that will weigh on Britain’s budget deficit and its £2 trillion debt mountain, and probably cause the economy to shrink again.

Meanwhile, Britain’s parliament will on Tuesday(3) debate the government’s economic support for businesses and individuals, the opposition Labour Party said on Twitter.

Labour’s finance policy chief will use an ‘urgent question’ debate to ask finance minister Rishi Sunak to make a statement on “economic support available to individuals and businesses during and after the recently announced lockdown”, Labour’s team in charge of parliamentary business said.

Sunak, or another Treasury minister, would usually speak for the government during such a debate.

On Sunday(1), Michael Gove, a senior minister in Johnson’s government, said the lockdown could be extended.