June 3, 2020

How we're protecting jobs, businesses and livelihoods as we begin to kickstart our economy

Moving into the next phase of our response, we are focussed on not just on saving lives, but also saving livelihoods. As we begin to re-open our country and kickstart our economy, these schemes will adjust to ensure those who are able to work can do so, while remaining amongst the most comprehensive and generous in the world.

We stood behind Britain’s businesses and workers as we came into this crisis and we stand behind them as we come through the other side. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure people can pay their bills and put food on the table – as people continue to stay alert, to control the virus and save lives.

How we're kickstarting our economy

We're supporting the self-employed by increasing the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme for three months. That means people will be able to claim a second grant in August worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, capped at £6,570 in total.

The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. And you do not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant, you just need to have been adversely affected by coronavirus in that later phase.

The Chancellor also set out more details on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue to support jobs and business as people return to work. We have already extended the scheme until the end of October – that’s a total eight months of support.

From July, businesses can bring furloughed employees back part time, a month earlier than previously announced, to help support people back to work. Employers will be able to claim the furlough grant for the proportion of the employees’ normal hours they are not working – but they must pay their employees for the hours they are working. The Government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to £2,500, plus employer National Insurance and pension contribution.

From August, the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500, but employers will start paying employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

From September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,190. Employers will be asked to pay the remaining 10%, in addition to employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

And from October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will be asked to pay the remaining 20%, in addition to employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

These schemes have been a lifeline for millions

The furlough and self-employment schemes have been a lifeline for millions of people and businesses.

8.7 million jobs have been protected through our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which would otherwise have been at risk. And around 1.1 million firms have benefitted from this support, and 45,000 more businesses have been supported by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. And over 700,000 Bounce Back Loans have been given to businesses, worth more than £21.2 billion, to provide help to those who need it.

2.5 million claims have now been submitted for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, at a value of £7.2 billion, in a generous scheme to help those who need it.
 
And we have provided over 1.8 million mortgage holidays to homeowners across the country. That's the equivalent to 1 in 6 mortgages, . And we’ve extended this by 3 months, so people can have more certainty on their financial future during the coronavirus outbreak.

Our top priority has always been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through this crisis. The furlough and self-employment schemes have been a lifeline for millions of people and businesses. And this Government will continue to provide support where it's needed to get our economy back on the right track.

Stay Alert. Control the virus. Save lives.

Guided by the science, our aim will be ensuring that we avoid a second peak which overwhelms the NHS. Protecting the health and safety of the British public is, and will always be, our top priority.

Every day, we will continue to monitor the infection rate of the virus and checking what we know against the five tests:

  1. Protecting the NHS’s ability to cope. We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK;
  2. Seeing a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from COVID-19 so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak;
  3. Having reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board;
  4. Being confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand; and
  5. Being confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS.

Reliable data from SAGE, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, tells us that new infections are continuing to drop, which shows that our plan is working. But we’re remaining vigilant, and will only reopen our economy and our society in the safest possible way.

This not the time to end the lockdown. But this is the time to make careful and deliberate measures – stay alert, to control the virus, and save lives.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)