Rishi Sunak has cancelled this year’s Budget and will instead prioritise protecting millions of jobs in sectors hit by the latest Government guidance on Covid-19.

The Treasury said the Chancellor would outline his plans to extend and replace financial support during an appearance in Parliament on Thursday.

His move comes after increasing pressure from business groups, MPs and unions to extend the furlough scheme as stricter restrictions are introduced.

Number 11 said work on the scheme, first revealed by the Chancellor on Twitter, had been taking place in parallel with Budget preparations and the focus has been on jobs to avoid the expected three million unemployed.

The Treasury said: “We will always be honest with people about the difficult trade-offs that are involved here.

“Not between health and the economy, but between keeping people in jobs and helping them find new ones. And between help in the here and now and rebuilding in the future. That’s what people deserve.”

The Chancellor initially announced his move via Twitter, with a graphic titled “Winter Economy Plan”.

No further details were provided and it came as the Government confirmed more than 6,000 new coronavirus cases by 9am on Wednesday – the highest daily number since May 1.

A source close to the Treasury said: “No-one wanted to be in this situation but we need to respond to it.

“The Chancellor has shown he has been creative in the past and we hope that people will trust us to continue in that vein.

“Giving people reassurance and businesses the help they need to get through this is uppermost in his mind.”

The move followed comments by Prime Minister Boris Johnson about a “creative and imaginative” action plan to protect jobs, with unions and business leaders pointing to schemes used in other European countries.