WALES economy minister Ken Skates urged the chancellor Rishi Sunakto to announce plans for the UK government to pay workers wages through the coronavirus crisis.

The chancellor s expected to unveil an employment and wage subsidy package later today (Friday, March 20).

This morning, Mr Skates said: "I hope and I believe the chancellor will today make the right decision in regard to wage subsidies.

"Many businesses have just hours, not days, to survive and they cannot wait until next week for a positive answer from the chancellor."

It came during a Welsh Goverment news coference in which Mr Skates confirmed unprecedented amount of money has been deployed to support Welsh businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today, Minister for Economy, Ken Skates said the Welsh Government has £1.4 billion of support, adding the government had “never ever deployed such a figure to support Welsh businesses”.

Warning, that many businesses were hours not day away from collapse, Mr Skates also praised Welsh businesses for, in the most part, acting with compassion during these difficult times.

He said: “If you had a good business in 2019, you will have a good business in 2021.”

“Here in 2020 we have a battle in which we must all fight together.”

He also said that he believed, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, that the tide against the virus could be turned in 12 weeks if everyone works together and takes advice about health and social distancing.

He asked people to act with compassion, not to hoard or panic buy, and to support shop workers and lorry drivers who are vital in getting food, of which there is enough for everyone, on to the shop shelves.

He urged businesses to be sympathetic to the metal health of employees and for everyone to be vigilant against scammers using the crisis to their advantage.