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Agencies and businesses offered new tax and jobs schemes

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined his measures to help agencies and other businesses survive Coronavirus.

His announcements - endorsed by both the CBI and the TUC - came with a warning that the current restrictions and virus-related challenges will be lasting “at least six months”. His specific measures include: 

- confirmation the furlough scheme will conclude at the end of October;


- this will be replaced by a new Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), starting in November, focussing on employers who choose to keep staff on shorter hours rather than making them redundant;

- under the JSS employees must work at least a third of normal hours and be paid for those hours by employers, and the government will the contribute some of the remaining pay;

- the Treasury calculates that most workers on shorter hours should be able to achieve 77 per cent of pre-Covid income thanks to JSS combining state payments and employers' contributions;

- JSS is aimed at firms classed as smaller and medium sized businesses, but only those larger firms that show reduced income;

- the JSS will be open across the UK and apply to firms even if they have not taken advantage of the furlough scheme;

- the Jobs Retention Bonus of £1,000 - already announced and due in late January - remains in place for companies employing staff who were once furloughed;

- those businesses that have borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will have more flexibility on repayment terms - up to 10 yars in some cases, under a new government 'Pay As You Grow' initiative;

- the application deadline for all Coronavirus loan schemes, including the Future Fund, have been extended to November 30;

- businesses which deferred VAT payments will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March 2021 - they will have an option of splitting it into smaller interest-free repayments over the course of 11 months;

- any self-assessed income tax payers who need extra help can also now extend their outstanding tax bill over 12 months from January;

- finally the hospitality and tourism sectors were expecting their temporary VAT reduction (from 20 to five per cent) to end in January, but it will now conclude at the end of March instead.

Sunak says his plans strike “a finely-judged balance” between health and business priorities, and respond to “people being exhausted” by the effects of the pandemic.


  • Welsh  Cynic

    Excellent news, at last a policy of value to the economy. How long before Rishi Sunak is proposed as Prime Minister. He is the only one of the present Cabinet that seems to be living in the real world and who inspires some confidence. Heaven knows the country needs it.

    Algarve  Investor

    In a Cabinet of incompetents, he does stand out. Far more efficient and authoritative than the supposed PM, who aims for his hero Churchill but comes across more like the nodding Churchill dog.

    That said, Sunak is devoted to the Brexit and Johnson cause, which makes me question him more. Surely a sound fiscal mind like his understands the stupidity of a no deal Brexit at a time when the economy is already in the doldrums?


    Not more Brexit whinging give it a rest

  • London Agent

    Sunak is absolutely for Brexit, but I have never heard him promote a no-deal Brexit as his favoured option.
    Almost everyone would like a deal, but it has to be agreed between all parties, it has to be fair - and certainly not at any price.
    I don't pretend to understand all the arguments but the 'level playing field' is a significant hindrance. Europe does not want the UK to undercut their European rivals. However in November 2016, when the Irish government formally appealed the EU ruling against granting illegal tax benefits to Apple. Ireland claimed there was no violation of Irish tax law, and that the EU action was "an intrusion into Irish sovereignty", as national tax policy is excluded from EU treaties.
    It is perhaps strange therefore to many people that 50% of Ireland's top 50 companies are US companies while there are no non-US/and no non/UK foreign multinationals in Ireland's top 50 firms. Some people might perceive it as one rule of them and one rule for us.
    If I'm missing something, always happy to listen and learn.


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