Update on Government Financial Supports

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Update on Government Financial Supports

On 5 November the Chancellor announced increased financial support and made policy announcements summarised below, full details can be found on the economic support factsheet.

MORTGAGE AND LOAN PAYMENT HOLIDAYS

Mortgage payment holidays will no longer end 31 October. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

Proposals have also made to extend payment deferrals and other support to personal loans, credit cards, motor finance, rent-to-own and buy-now-pay-later consumer credit customers who are experiencing payment difficulties because of Coronavirus.

Consumer credit customers who have not yet had a payment holiday during the pandemic would be eligible for two payment deferrals lasting up to six months.

The FCA will announce further information and we will update you when we have seen it.

 

BUSINESS GRANTS

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

Business grant policy is fully devolved. Devolved Administrations will receive UK Government financial support which they could use to establish similar schemes.

 

Discretionary Funding

You may receive a grant of up to £1,500 at the discretion of your local council if:

  • your business is required to close but you do not pay business rates;
  • if your business is not required to close, but has been severely affected, for example because of customer businesses being closed.
Exclusions

There are exclusions to the grant:

  • businesses which can continue to operate during the lockdown because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from their premises;
  • businesses that have chosen to close, but have not been required to close as part of a local lockdown
  • businesses that are still subject to national closures such as nightclubs
  • businesses that have reached the state aid limit
How to apply

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.

 

THE CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was due to end on 31 October however was extended to December, and has today been extended to 31 March 2021. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. The £2,500 is proportional to the hours not worked.

The government will review the policy further in January to decide, if the employer contribution should be increased.

Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full-time, employers will be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

As with the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.

The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and this extension.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Read the full details on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

 

GOVERNMENT INCREASES SUPPORT FOR SELF EMPLOYED ACROSS THE UK

The Self Employed grant will increase to 80% of 3 months trading profits, covering November to January for all parts of the UK. The grant will be paid out in a single installment capped at £7,500.

To ensure those who need the support get it as soon as possible, payment will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

A fourth grant will also be available and cover the three-month period from the start of February 2021 to the end of April 2021, with the government to review and set this in due course.

To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
    • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

Read information about the extension to the scheme.

 

GUARANTEE LOAN SCHEMES

An extension to the application deadline for the loan schemes, which are; the Bounce Back Loan, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, Future Fund, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan – to the end of January 2021. Giving businesses an extra two months to make loan applications (this deadline was previously 30 November).

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules are to be adjusted to enable businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. the lower of £50,000 or less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan.