Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced updates to the Job Support Scheme, which is set to replace furlough next month.
It comes after criticism that the scheme wasn’t offering enough support to businesses in Tier 2 areas, where businesses have experienced a severe reduction in demand without being formally required to shut.
This led to complaints from business owners, particularly those working in hospitality, that they would actually be better off if they were under Tier 3 restrictions, meaning they would then access higher levels of support from the government.
"It is clear that they require further economic support”, Mr Sunak said in response to these concerns, as he spoke in the Commons today.
Under the revised scheme, employers will pay less and staff can work fewer hours before qualifying.
The main points from his latest announcement were:
- Businesses in Tier 2 areas which have been affected by the restrictions will be eligible for cash grants of up to £2,100 a month
- The Job Support Scheme will be made more generous, with employer contributions reduced and the minimum hours requirement also cut
- Self-employed income support will double from 20% to 40% of people’s incomes, increasing the maximum grant to £3,750
The Chancellor stated: “I understand your frustration, people need to know this is not forever. These are temporary restrictions to help control the spread of the virus.
“There are difficult days and weeks ahead, but we will get through this together. People are not on their own.
“We have an economic plan that will protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people wherever they live and whatever their situation.”
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