Information on government’s extended financial support schemes
As England endures another four-week lockdown, government has detailed the support it is extending to help employers and employees from 4 November.
The furlough scheme – formally known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their salary, up to a maximum of £2,500. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and pension contributions.
The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to be introduced on 1 November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
Businesses forced to close in England (non-essential retail, hospitality, gyms and accommodation and tourism sectors), will receive grants up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Government has also announced £1.1billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable councils to offer further support to businesses. The business grants will be as follows:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
There is also additional support for the self-employed. To reflect the recent changes to the furlough scheme, the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be made more generous – with self-employed individuals receiving 80% of their average trading profits for November.
And to ensure those who need support get it as soon as possible, payments will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.
Mortgage holidays are also continuing. Borrowers who have not yet had a six month holiday will be entitled to one, and those who have already started a mortgage holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.
“I have always said we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”
Government bailout to keep London transport running
The government has agreed a second extraordinary funding and financing package for Transport for London (TfL) worth up to £1.7billion.
The package, which will provide financial support until March 2021, is focused on protecting services and ensuring the capital’s transport network stands ready to support the recovery from coronavirus. Government funding will ensure those who need to, such as NHS staff, can continue to be able to travel as the nation enters tougher national restrictions.
As with the national rail operators, buses and tram systems, the government will make up all the fare revenue which TfL has lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic through this support package.
National taxpayers will also continue to fund free travel concessions to standard English levels and free travel to school for children who qualify under national legislation. Nearly all the package will be grants and £95m will be loans.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has also chosen to make £160m in savings over the next six months in TfL and raise fares by RPI+1%.
Read more here.
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