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UK to allow firms to defer 30 bln stg of tax payments

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Britain's government will allow businesses to hold on to 30 billion pounds of value-added tax, which they would normally pass on to tax authorities over the next three months, in order to help their cash flow while they are hit by coronavirus.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said the deferred tax would not be payable until the end of the financial year in March 2021.

"That is a direct injection of over 30 billion pounds of cash to businesses, equivalent to 1.5% of GDP," he said at a news conference to announce measures to support the economy. (Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison)