The Government announced today further economic measures to protect people's jobs, incomes and strengthen the safety net for the self-employed. I have attached the latest letter I have received from the Treasury and outline the measures below:
Coronavirus job prevention scheme:
- The Government will help pay people’s wages – offering grants to employers who promise to retain their staff, covering most of the cost of paying people’s wages.
- Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month – above the median income. The cost of wages will be backdated to 1st March and will be open initially for at least three months – and we will extend the scheme for longer if necessary.
- Any employer in the country – large, small, charitable or for profit – who promises to retain their staff, can apply for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off.
- HMRC are working night and day to get the scheme up and running and we expect the first grants to be paid within weeks.
Strengthening the safety net for those who work for themselves
- We have suspended the minimum income floor for twelve months – meaning self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
- For the self-employed, we are also deferring income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021. We will announce further measures to support self-employed people over the coming days.
Deferring VAT payments:
- The Government will defer the next three months of VAT until the end of the financial year – an injection of over £30 billion of cash to businesses to help businesses pay people and keep them in work. The Government is standing behind employers – and we are asking that they do their bit and stand behind workers.
- No business will pay any VAT from now until the end of June; and they will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme:
- On Tuesday, the Chancellor expanded the amount that can be borrowed from £1.2 million to £5 million, and we are now extending the time frame of no interest on these loans from six months to twelve months.