Published: Sat, March 21, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Chancellor announces new financial measures to help businesses and consumers

Chancellor announces new financial measures to help businesses and consumers

United Kingdom workers of any employer who is placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a worker's wages, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month.

The government expects the first job-retention grants to be payed before the end of April.

No business will pay Value-Added Tax from now to mid June and will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.

"Economic intervention will be unprecedented in the history of British state".

Not all measures were given a pricetag, but business groups and trade unions agreed that it was biggest subsidy of economic activity undertaken by the British government.

Any employer in the country- small or large, charitable or non-profit will be eligible for the scheme. Johnson says that the scheme is there to "put the people first".

"The news that Business Interruption Loans will be available via banks from Monday and interest free for 12 months will be welcomed by many".

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In order to provide "further cashflow support", the Chancellor said he will defer the next quarter of Value-Added Tax payments. We need these measures implemented swiftly and will work closely with government and our members to keep this critical and fundamentally competitive sector alive'. "We look forward to working with the government to do whatever it takes to help protect working people, increase workplace resilience, and make a rapid recovery more likely".

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that cafes, bars and restaurants are to close tonight. That should help companies struggling with a cash flow crisis. "Employees should speak to their line managers and HR teams to understand how they can best balance family and work commitments".

"I do accept that what we're doing is extraordinary", Johnson said. It instantly transforms the social safety net of this nation.

"We are in this together, and will all have to play our part", he said.

It follows similar measures taken in other countries - including in Ireland, where pubs and bars were asked to close from last Sunday.

The decision on closures will be reviewed on a monthly basis, and are being implemented across the whole of the United Kingdom in agreement with the devolved administrations.

That is why we are now telling entertainment and hospitality premises to close temporarily, and people to only travel if absolutely essential, to help protect each other from the further spread of the virus.

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