We’re bringing you a summary of the latest announcements from the Government at this evening’s press conference (Friday 20 March):
- The Prime Minister has announced that cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants must close from Friday night (tonight), except for providing take-away food; (Government have relaxed planning rules so restaurants and pubs can operate as a takeaway without obtaining planning consent.)
- All nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been asked to close “as soon as they reasonably can”.
- The Chancellor has announced a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – that the government will pay 80% of people’s wages up to £2,500 a month. Any employer is eligible and will be able to apply to HMRC for a grant. It applies to any employee on the PAYE scheme. There will be no limit on the total funding available. The scheme will be open initially for 3 months and then reviewed. The Chancellor said he expects the first grants to be paid within weeks.
- The Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be extended so that repayments are interest free for 12 months, and the scheme will be available from Monday.
- The next quarter of VAT repayments will be deferred, so that there will be no payments from now until June, and then businesses will have until the end of the year to make payments.
- Suspending the minimum income floor for self-employed people in relation to Universal Credit
- Self-assessment tax payments will be deferred to January 2021.
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