The Chancellor has today outlined an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes in response to coronavirus. This comes as Government instructs entertainment and hospitality premises, like bars and restaurants, to close to limit spread of coronavirus.
A new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be set up to help pay people’s wages. 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. Any employer in the country- small or large, charitable or non-profit will be eligible for the scheme.
Universal Credit and tax credits will also be increased as part of an almost £7 billion welfare boost.
To ease cash flow pressures for UK VAT registered businesses, VAT bills from now until the end of June, will be deferred until the end of the tax year.
The Chancellor’s workers’ support package means:
- UK workers of any employer who is placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1st March and will be initially open for 3 months, to be extended if necessary.
- VAT payments due between now and the end of June will be deferred. 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 in July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021, benefitting up to 5.7m self-employed businesses.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched at Budget, will now be interest free for twelve months.
- The standard rate in Universal credit and Tax Credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from April 6th, meaning claimants will be up to £1040 better off.
- Nearly £1bn of additional support for renters, through increases in the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit. From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.
HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement for the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the first grants are expected to be paid within weeks. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
Details of the government's support package for businesses to protect jobs and how to access them can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-bu…