Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new job support scheme as well as the relaxation of some tax and loan repayments for businesses. Acknowledging that he cannot save every business and cannot save every job, the new scheme aims to support viable jobs. Sunak said: “Our task is to move to the next stage of our economic plan, by nurturing the recovery by protecting jobs through the difficult winter months. The primary goal of our economic policy remains unchanged – so support people’s jobs. But the way we achieved that must evolve”.
He stressed most clearly that the new scheme will support viable jobs and that it was fundamentally wrong to keep people in jobs that were unsustainable. The scheme will require employees to work at least one-third of their contracted hours and to be paid as normal with the government AND employers covering the remaining two-thirds.
The scheme is open to all SMEs and larger businesses that have experienced a fall in turnover during the Covid-19 crisis, even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme. The self-employed grant will also be extended on similar terms and conditions.
Measures are also being introduced to help businesses with cash flow.