It's on all of us: New measures announced

When this is over, and it will be over, we want to look back at this moment and remember the many small acts of kindness done by us and to us.

We want to look back this time and remember how we thought first of others and acted with decency.

We want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort - and we stood together.

It’s on all of us.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak (20.03.20)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled today (20 March) a further series of measures to support people, jobs and business: Read his speech in full with an updated statement on coronavirus.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, has hailed the government's support for workers, saying:

“This is a landmark package of measures for business, people and jobs."

"The Chancellor’s offer of substantial payroll support, fast access to cash and tax deferral will support the livelihoods of millions. Firms and employees will respond with relief and determination.

“It marks the start of the UK’s economic fightback - an unparalleled joint effort by enterprise and government to help our country emerge from this crisis with the minimum possible damage.  An important day for our country.”

In addition to the measures announced by the Chancellor earlier in the week and in the Budget last week, today Rishi Sunak announced Our Plan for People’s Jobs and Incomes.  It will help to protect people’s jobs; offer more generous support to those who are without jobs; strengthen the safety net for the self-employed; and help people stay in their homes. Those initiatives are listed below:


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • The Government will help pay people’s wages – offering grants to employers who promise to retain their staff, covering most of the cost of paying people’s wages. 
  • Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month – above the median income. The cost of wages will be backdated to 1st March and will be open initially for at least three months – and we will extend the scheme for longer if necessary.
  • Any employer in the country – large, small, charitable or for profit – who promises to retain their staff, can apply for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off.
  • HMRC are working night and day to get the scheme up and running and we expect the first grants to be paid within weeks.

Deferring VAT payments

  • The Government will defer the next three months of VAT until the end of the financial year – an injection of over £30 billion of cash to businesses to help businesses pay people and keep them in work. The Government is standing behind employers – and we are asking that they do their bit and stand behind workers.
  • No business will pay any VAT from now until the end of June; and they will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • On Tuesday, the Chancellor expanded the amount that can be borrowed from £1.2 million to £5 million, and we are now extending the time frame of no interest on these loans from six months to twelve months.

Strengthening the safety net for those who work for themselves

  • We have suspended the minimum income floor for twelve months – meaning self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees. 
  • For the self-employed, we are also deferring income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021. We will announce further measures to support self-employed people over the coming days. 

How to access Government financial support if your business has been affected by COVID-19 >Find out more< 


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