Rishi Sunak has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn. Businesses that will be forced to close during governments next wave of tiered local lockdowns are to get more financial help from the treasury.
Sunak announced that workers will receive two-thirds of their wages paid by the government as part of a second furlough scheme; Although the chancellor attempted to distance himself from any notion of a u-turn.
Announcing the U-turn and new furlough conditions, chancellor Sunak said: “I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves.
“The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors.”
What has Rishi Sunak announced?
The new furlough scheme will take effect on the 1st of November when the current job retention scheme ends.
Employees will only be eligible if they have been on the PAYE payroll on or before the 23rd September 2020.
Employees will have to be off work for a minimum of seven days (consecutive) to be eligible.
Employers won’t have to contribute towards employee’s wages and will only be asked to cover NI and pension contributions.
Sunak also announced an increase to ‘cash grants’ available to businesses who have to close due to lockdowns in England. These grants will be linked to the ‘rateable value’ of their business; with up to £3,000 per month available.
While help is needed, and Sunak has begrudgingly put his hands into the COUNTRIES pocket, many believe the scheme does not go far enough. The second round of furlough will help a few businesses remain open; however, how people are expected to survive on 66% of their regular income has yet to be answered. Many businesses are likely to close for good.