Three additional measures
- Up to £2,100 a month cash grants for firms in Tier 2 areas. These will be made retrospective, allowing firms in regions which have been under restrictions to backdate their claim to August.
- Self-employed people will have access to £3,750 grants – double the size of the previous amount available. The amount of profits they are allowed to claim will also rise from 20% to 40%
- The Job Support Scheme is also being amended for companies suffering ongoing reduction in demand due to the pandemic. Workers will only have to work 20% of their normal hours to be eligible, not 33% as originally mandated. And the amount employers will have to contribute will reduce to just 5%, a significant reduction from the original 33%.
“The scheme will apply to eligible businesses in all alert levels”
Read more on the Government Job Support Scheme: Business reaction:Shutdown shocks local economies: UK businesses respond to Chancellor’s local lockdown and JSS extension plans
Opinion:Will the Chancellor’s expansion to the Job Support Scheme work?
The Chancellor’s u-turn comes after widespread criticism of his previous, flawed Winter Economic Plan – and as it is revealed, almost 3 million employees remain furloughed just days before his scheme ceases to operate at the end of October. GMB, Britain’s general union, says the extension to employment support schemes is ‘welcome’ but still leaves millions facing winter without enough to live on. “The Chancellor has already been forced to rip up and revise his flawed Winter Economic Plan before the Autumn is out. It remains to be seen if this has come soon enough to protect jobs and incomes through the months ahead,” said John Phillips, GMB Acting General Secretary. Meanwhile, Chris Turner, Chief Executive of British BIDs, which represents thousands of businesses currently struggling with tough lockdown measures, said, “We thank Rishi for listening and making further grants available, these will be a lifesaver in many cases. “We would now like the government to extend business rates relief in our hospitality and leisure sectors, ideally for the rest of this parliament. Emergency money combined with rates relief will give businesses a chance to survive and save many thousands of jobs and incomes in the process.” With the long winter months yet to come, and the pandemic showing little sign of abating, it remains to be seen whether this new set of measures will help keep businesses afloat.
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