Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, has welcomed the Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan.
Announced this morning, the Winter Economy Plan is the next phase of the Government’s economic response to coronavirus and follows the Prime Minister’s address to the nation. The Plan focuses on supporting jobs and ensuring people’s employment. You can read full details of the Plan here and read the Chancellor’s speech here.
A Job Support Scheme has been announced, meaning companies continue to pay employees for the work they do, but the burden of any hours not worked will be shared between the employee, the employer and the Government, with each party funding a third. Employees need to be working at least 33% of the time and this percentage will grow over time. This will protect people’s wages and jobs. All businesses are eligible, although larger businesses will only be eligible if their revenue has declined. The scheme opens on November 1st and will run for six months. Employers will be given three options
- To use the £1000 Jobs Retention Bonus as a reward for bringing people back after furlough
- Bring people back under shorter hours and use the Job Support Scheme to subsidise wages
- A combination of the two
A grant extension for self-employed small businesses who used the SEISS scheme will also be in place.
There will also be greater support for businesses’ cash flow. Greater flexibility for repaying loans will be allowed through a Pay As You Grow scheme – all borrowers now have the option to repay their Bounce Back Loans over a longer time period of repayment to ten years, reducing monthly payments by half. Businesses will not have their credit ratings affected by this. CBILS lenders can also extend their loans to ten years, and the deadline for new applications for CBILS has been extended to November, as has the Future Fund and BBLs.
The temporary VAT cut for tourism and hospitality has also been extended to the end of March 2021, and repayments of VAT will be deferred until March 2021. Businesses can also have extra time to pay back any owed VAT with a new repayment extension until March 2022.
Self-assessment taxpayers will also benefit from a new Time To Pay Service to create a payment arrangement which sees extended time limits for repayments.
Commenting, Richard said:
“I am simply delighted with the measures that the Chancellor has announced today. The measures help businesses, consumers and employees and ensure that people will not face unemployment and will be able to return to work once the furlough scheme ends.
“The Job Support Scheme focuses on supporting genuinely viable jobs –the economy has reopened but we know that the virus will be with us for a while, and so our approach to the economy and supporting employment has changed.
“I am really grateful that the Chancellor has outlined these measures as, following the huge success of the previous economic measures we have seen over the past few months I know they will be a huge benefit to people in North West Durham, the wider North East and the rest of the UK.”
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