West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has welcomed increased financial aid for the self-employed in the comprehensive support package announced by the Chancellor to help people and businesses through the current lockdown.
In addition to extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) under the same terms as the previous scheme until 2nd December, the Government is increasing the support to the self-employed from 40 per cent of trading profits to 80 per cent for November. As SEISS grants are calculated over three months, this increases the total level of the grant from 40 per cent to 55 per cent of trading profits for November to January and the maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
Mr Thomas said: “As the MP for an area which is hugely reliant on the self-employed working in the hospitality sector, in the building and associated trades, in tourism and in the arts, I know how stretched many people are financially.
“I have repeatedly asked the Treasury to ensure that further support is given to the self-employed and am very pleased that the Chancellor has announced a package which broadly mirrors the support given through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. In addition, HMRC will pay this more generous grant sooner than planned and in good time for Christmas – the window for claiming a grant will open on 30 November, two weeks earlier than previously announced.”
Mr Thomas also welcomed the announcement that businesses which are forced to close due to the new restrictions will receive up to £3,000 per month and that businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors that have been suffering from reduced demand for a while due to local restrictions will receive back dated grants at 70 per cent of the value of closed grants (up to £2,100 per month) for this period.
“While the Eat Out to Help Out scheme provided a massive boost to our pubs and restaurants, it did not by any means make up for the loss of revenue that they have suffered because of the initial lockdown and the ongoing restrictions regarding social distancing. Supporting them with back-dated grants will help them get through what are likely to be a very difficult few months.”
Other support announced by the Chancellor includes:
• Loan extensions: the loan schemes – the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Future Fund – will be extended to the end of January.
• Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules will be adjusted to allow those businesses who have taken out less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25 per cent of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan giving businesses greater flexibility and support.
• Mortgage payment holidays will continue to be available for homeowners. 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 a maximum of six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
• £500 million extra funding for English Local Authorities for local public health initiatives, such as additional contact tracing, testing for hard-to-reach groups.
• Additional funding to local authorities to support the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable now that revised guidance is in place nationally.