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Covid-19 Understanding additional measures

At a press conference on Friday 20 March, the following additional measures were announced.

  • A new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be set up to help pay people’s wages.  Any employer in the country (small or large, including charitable or non-profit) will be eligible for the scheme.
      • Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working during the coronavirus outbreak.
      • UK workers of any employer who is placed on the CJRS can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a worker’s wage costs, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month.
      • This will be backdated to 1st March and will be initially open for 3 months, to be extended if necessary.
      • It can apply to anyone who was on the payroll at 29 February 2020, even if they have subsequently been made redundant, as long as they are reinstated on the payroll
  • Any business that needs access to cash to pay their rent, salaries, suppliers, or to purchase stock, will be able to access a government-backed loan on “attractive terms” (which have not yet been specified).
      • That support will be delivered to small and medium businesses via the new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (announced at the Budget), which will now provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first 12 months (not 6 months, as announced previously).
      • The scheme will be up and running by the start of next week.
  • VAT payments due by all VAT-registered businesses between now and the end of June will be deferred until the end of the tax year.
      • No VAT registered business will have to make a VAT payment normally due with their VAT return to HMRC in that period.
  • Income tax payments due on 31 July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021, benefiting the cash flow of up to 5.7m self-employed businesses.
  • The standard rate in both Universal Credit (UC) and Tax Credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from April 6th, meaning claimants will be up to £1,040 better off.
  • The ‘minimum income floor’ for the self-employed claiming UC is temporarily suspended for everyone affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus.
      • This means that every self-employed person can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to SSP for employees.
  • There will be additional support for renters, through increases in housing benefit and Universal Credit.
      • From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.

Keep updated at www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

 

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