The Chancellor has just announced a further package of support for businesses and individuals. The unprecedented measures include:
- 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 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will not be interest-free, as previously planned, for 6 months – it will be for twelve months. The loans will be available from Monday.
- To help businesses keep people in work, the Government is deferring the next quarter of VAT payments. No business will pay VAT from now to mid June. Businesses will 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.
- The Government is increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance, for the next 12 months, by £1,000 a year. Increasing the Working Tax Credit basic element by the same amount. This will benefit just over 4 million households.
- The Government is also strengthening the safety net for self-employed people 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, the Government is announcing nearly £1bn of support by increasing the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in your area.
We want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort - and stood together.
It’s on all of us.