Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £7b relief package for businesses facing disruption due to cornavirus, including cuts to business rates.
Measures include the immediate introduction Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebates, the extension of HMRC Time to Pay arrangements, as well as the abolishing of business rates for smaller hospitality, retail and leisure businesses for the coming year.
The chancellor said he understands people are worried about their health, income, jobs and businesses, calling coronavirus "the key challenge facing our country today". He said the virus would have a "significant" but "temporary" impact on the economy and "the right response is to provide a bridge for businesses"
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available for all those advised to self isolate, even if they have no symptoms, from day one. Businesses with fewer than 250 employees will have the cost of SSP for any employee off work due to coronavirus refunded by the government in full for up to 14 days
Measures will also be introduced to make it quicker and easier for the self employed to access benefits
HMRC's Time to Pay will be extended to allow businesses to defer payments over an agreed period of time
A coronavirus business loan scheme will be established to help small and medium sized operators access funds up to £1.2m to boost their working capital to cover salaries and bills
Business rates will be abolished for the coming year for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of less that £51,000 - including guest houses and small hotels. A one year extension will also be added to the business rates retail discount to the leisure and hospitality sectors
Any business eligible for small business relief will be able to access a £3,000 cash grant
Sunak assures businesses "I will act" if further relief is required
Corporation tax frozen
National Living Wage expected to reach £10.50 an hour (two thirds of medium earnings) by 2024, following April's planned increase of 6.2%.
£1m to be made available to promote Scottish food and drink overseas
Business rate discount for pubs will be increased from £1,000 to £5,000 and all alcohol duties frozen
National Insurance threshold to increase to £9,500 in April
Employment Allowance to increase by a third to £4,000
Lifetime limit of Entrepreneurs Relief to be reduced from £10m to £1m
Plastic packaging tax to be introduced from April 2022, with a levy of £200 planned on every ton using less than 30% recycled plastic
£1.5b to improve further education estate
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