The furlough scheme has worked well, protecting jobs and livelihoods. In response to the announcement of the National Lockdown which began today, 5th November, and will last until the 2nd of December the Government will be extending the scheme. Aware of the added problems which may occur over the winter period the Chancellor has decided the scheme should go on until the end of March 2021.
This comes alongside the increase in the next self-employed grant which will increase from 55% to 80% of trading profit. This is an extra £7.3 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January with a further grant to follow to cover February to April. This is on top of the £13.7 billion already provided.
Heather Wheeler MP says “In South Derbyshire, the furlough scheme and self-employed grants introduced earlier this year have been a lifeline to many businesses and families. I fully support their extensions so we can continue to provide vital support and the security that businesses and individuals need to ensure their future and to protect jobs.
The Furlough Scheme will once again see employees receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to the value of £2,500.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be reviewed in January to see if economic circumstances have improved enough to ask employers to contribute more.
The Job Retention Bonus will not be paid in February, the retention incentive will be redeployed at a more appropriate time. The purpose of the scheme was to encourage employers to keep people working until the end of January and save jobs. However, with the furlough scheme being extended, it defeats the point of the scheme.
I am also pleased to see that the loan schemes will be extended until the end of January 2021, this includes the Bounce Back Loans scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Future Fund and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This will give businesses an extra 2 months to make an application. For those that find themselves facing new challenges and who have already made an application for the Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than their maximum, they can now apply to top-up their existing loan.
I know businesses are disappointed and dismayed that the disruption is continuing but I hope the new extension and ability to apply for a top-up will provide some reassurance and security.
I know and understand that we are facing a difficult winter but I hope the extension of support and further funding will provide businesses and families with the help and security they need.
South Derbyshire businesses have worked hard to keep going throughout this crisis and I would like to thank the local people for the support they have given them. Going forward that local support will be even more important.”