21st March - Coronavirus action update

On Friday the Chancellor announced further measures to support workers and businesses across the UK. A copy of his statement can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-chancellor-rishi-sunak-provides-an-updated-statement-on-coronavirus

In short:

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government will step in to help pay people's wages through a coronavirus job retention scheme.
  • Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to cover 80% of salary for those retained but not working.
  • VAT for all businesses is being deferred until the end of June and the business loan scheme will now be interest free for 12 months.
  • Universal Credit allowance increases £1,000 a year and the next tax self-assessments will be deferred until the start of next year.
  • He also announced the self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay, and a further £1bn to cover 30% of house rental costs.

The UK Government Wales Office has a rolling advice page with links to a whole range of issues: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-individuals-and-businesses-in-wales

A few other key points:

  1. The UK Government's Business Interruption Loan Scheme starts on Monday 23rd March. This scheme is being managed through the British Business Bank by participating providers, and is not currently being offered through the Development Bank of Wales. You can find out more details about the Coronavirus Business interruption Scheme directly from the British Business Bank - https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/.
  2. The Development Bank of Wales is offering a three-month payment holiday for existing customers impacted by the virus which they can request here - https://developmentbank.wales/coronavirus-support-welsh-businesses
  3. The live scientific evidence that is supporting the UK government response has now been published - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-scientific-evidence-supporting-the-uk-government-response
  4. The Welsh Government have now announced £10 million emergency support for rough sleepers in Wales during coronavirus outbreak - https://gov.wales/10-million-emergency-support-rough-sleepers-wales-during-coronavirus-outbreak
  5. Both the UK Government and Welsh Government are asking retired doctors and nurses to return to the NHS to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Wales, you can direct interested people to this link - https://gov.wales/temporarily-registered-nurses-and-midwives-guidance-html
  6. Please see the following link for the list of key workers - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision