As the UK continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic the chancellor has announced his “Winter Economy Plan” to project jobs.
With the new restrictions expected to last for six months and the furlough scheme ending soon it was hoped the chancellor would help our industry as most have not worked since March 2020.
These are the main announcements from his Commons address: –
- A new jobs support scheme – which will replace furlough – will see the government “directly support” the wages of people in “viable” jobs working a at least a third of their normal hours.
- The government will top up a third of the worker’s salary that would have otherwise been lost as a result of working reduced hours – capped at £697.92 a month – which means a third will go unpaid.
- It will start in November and run for six months – with all small and medium-sized businesses eligible for the scheme.
- Larger firms will have to prove their profits have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to utilise it.
- Businesses will not be able to issue redundancy notices to employees while taking part in this scheme.
- The self-employed grant will be extended on similar terms as this new support scheme.
- A “pay as you grow” scheme to allow companies more time to repay bounce back loans over a period of up to 10 years rather than six. Those struggling to pay them back will now be able to choose to make interest-only repayments and “anyone in real trouble” can suspend repayments altogether for up to six months
- VAT will remain at 5% for hospitality and tourism until 31 March 2021 – rather than reverting back to 20% in January
- The deadline for taking out a coronavirus business interruption loan will be extended until 30 November, with the government guarantee on them extended for up to 10 years
The hospitality and entertainment sectors have raised concerns about the new measures, due to the inability of venues like nightclubs and theatres to open.
We still need to lobby our MPs to get our voices heard and listened to.