This evening (20 March), the government announced additional measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Although the detail is yet to be confirmed, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the following:
- The government will step in to help pay people's wages through a coronavirus job retention scheme. Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to cover 80% of salary for those retained but not working. Support is being backdated to 1 March, however, it has yet to be confirmed when the funding will be available.
VAT for all businesses is being deferred until the end of June. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay VAT liability.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will now be interest free for 12 months (previously 6 months)
Universal Credit allowance increases £1,000 a year and the next tax self assessments will be deferred until the start of next year.
The self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay, and a further £1bn to cover 30% of house rental costs.
- The next self-assessment payments will be deferred until January 2021
Mr Sunak promises further measures next week to ensure larger and medium sized businesses will be able to access the credit they need.
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