On Friday 20th March 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a sweeping range of measures to be introduced over the coming days, weeks and months. Here is a summary of the main measures he announced:
* Government to pay 80% of wages for employees temporarily not able to work, up to £2,500 per employee per month. The payment will be in the form of a grant available from HMRC, available by the end of April (backdated to 1 March 2020). MORE DETAILS HERE.
* For the self-employed, a deferral of personal tax payments due on 31 July 2020, payments deferred until 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest will be charged in the deferral period
* No VAT payable by any business in the quarter to June 2020, with any amount deferred being due by the end of the 20/21 tax year. All businesses are eligible and it is an automatic offer with no applications required. Vat refunds and reclaims will be paid by HMRC as normal. VAT returns should still be submitted, any direct debits should be cancelled.
* The government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be interest free for 12 months rather than the initial 6 months, available from Monday (also available to large and medium sized businesses). Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) - British Business Bank British Business Bank<https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/> . You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
* Increase in Universal Credit Standard Allowance of £1,000 for the next 12 months.
* Working tax credit basic element increased by £1,000 for the next 12 months.
* Housing Benefit and Universal Credit to be enhanced so that the local housing allowance will cover 30% of market rents for renters.
* Increase in benefits for self-employed, suspending minimum income floor thereby allowing self-employed access to Universal Credit equivalent to SSP for employees.
Julie Downie, Accounts Manager