Support for businesses (20/03/2020)

This was published on 20/03/2020 - please check www.stephenhammond.net/coronavirus to find links to the latest guidance and news.

Full treasury guidance on all the measures can be found here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Building on the announcements earlier in the week, the Government has taken action to protect jobs and incomes. Below is a summary of the measures. I will share further details when they are available.

For the first time in our history, the British government is going to step in and help pay people’s wages. Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month, that’s above UK median earnings level.

The scheme, open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and will be open before the end of April for at least 3 months. There's no limit on the funding available for the scheme.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will now be interest free for twelve months. Those loans will now be available on Monday and more details are here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

To help businesses keep people in work, the next quarter of VAT payments are deferred. No business will pay VAT from now to mid June. You'll have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills. That's an over £30bn injection to businesses equivalent to 1.5% of GDP

We are already seeing some job losses. Today the Universal Credit standard allowance is increased, for the next 12 months, by £1,000 a year. The Working Tax Credit basic element is increased by the same amount. These measures will benefit just over 4 million households.

The safety net for self-employed people is strengthened by suspending the minimum income floor. That means self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.

To further support the self-employed through the tax system, the next self-assessment payments will be deferred until Jan 2021.

For renters, there will be nearly £1bn of support by increasing housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in your area.

As ever, I stand ready to assist in individual cases. I can be contacted on stephen.hammond.mp@parliament.uk