Robert has welcomed this evening’s announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak of unprecedented support for business and workers – to protect against the economic emergency caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The support package announced includes unlimited loans and guarantees to support firms and help them manage cash flow issues throughout this period. The Chancellor will make available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.
At last week’s Budget, the Chancellor provided £30 billion of support to the economy to deal with the crisis by investing in public services, increasing support for vulnerable people and providing business with tax reliefs and loans.
He said he would take further action as the situation evolved.
Commenting, Robert said:
“This is good news for the many businesses in West Oxfordshire that have been understandably concerned about the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on them.
“These are extraordinary times and I am pleased that the Government is acting accordingly and putting in place extraordinary measures in order to minimise the impact of this virus on our economy, while also taking steps to ensure people are treated and the virus’ impact is minimised.
“I will continue to work with local business and colleagues to ensure people are able to access the support they need to continue being able to live and work. Together we will get through this.”
To ensure that businesses have access to the funds they need, the Government is:
- Providing support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans;
- Increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2 million to £5 million, and ensuring businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments;
- Including new legal powers in the COVID-19 Bill enabling us to offer whatever further financial support we think necessary to businesses;
- Providing £20 billion of business rates support and grant funding to help the most-affected firms manage their cash flow through this period by:
- Giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months;
- Increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000;
- Providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months. This will give people the necessary time to recover and ensure they do not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage in the interim.
The Chancellor also confirmed that recent Government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc. is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.
To support the food industry and help provide meals for people who need to self-isolate, the Government is relaxing planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.
Commenting, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“We will do whatever it takes to protect our people and businesses from the effects of this global economic emergency brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.”