CHANCELLOR ANNOUNCES EXTRA ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has detailed three new measures to help employers and employees through the winter.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Chancellor said hospitality, accommodation, tourism and leisure businesses in Tier 2 areas would be given cash grants of £2,100 a month, backdated to August.
He also announced changes to the Job Support Scheme – with employees only needing to work 20% of their normal hours, instead of the original 33% – to be eligible to receive help from the programme. Employers will now only need to contribute 5% towards staff wages, instead of 33%.
The self-employed have also been given additional support, with grant funding doubling to £3,750, with the amount of average profits eligible for claiming rising from 20% to 40%.
Mr Sunak joined the Prime Minister for a press conference this afternoon at 10 Downing Street, where he confirmed the measures and did not rule out further changes.
“We will support British people and businesses wherever they live. We will listen and respond as the circumstances evolve.”
Mr Johnson, who led the press briefing, spoke about the restrictions currently in place across the UK, with varying levels depending on the severity of coronavirus spread.
“I know that there are some people that say this economic objective is so important we should stop all measures and stop restrictions of any kind. We can’t do that because the maths is inescapable.
“We would face many thousands more deaths and no, we would not be able to insulate the elderly and vulnerable.
“On the contrary, people are saying to lock the whole place down, turn the lights off and shut up shop and go back to the same sort of lockdown we had in March, April and May.
“I have to say I don’t believe that is the right course now. Not when the psychological cost of lockdown is well known to us and the economic cost. Not when it is being suggested that we might have to perform the same brutal lockdown again and again in the months ahead. And not when there is such obvious variation – unlike last time – between different parts of the country. So that’s why we are going for a balanced approach.
“To all those enduring these restrictions and have been for so long I want to repeat my thanks for your bravery, patience and public spiritedness.”
TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR BUSINESSES TO PREPARE FOR BREXIT
Business leaders have been urged not to get caught out by new rules at the end of the transition period by the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove this week.
In a call with business leaders the Prime Minister and Michael Gove will discuss preparations and ask businesses to step up their efforts to get ready for the changes and opportunities in little more than eight weeks.
The call to action comes as the government launches the latest phase of its public information campaign emphasising the increased urgency to prepare for the end of the UK transition period with the strapline “Time is running out”.
Read more here.
ADDITIONAL UPDATES AND GUIDANCE
£1bn funding for councils this winter
Allocations confirmed for individual councils from the £1billion of additional support announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month. View here.
Performing arts guidance
Guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants. View here.