New national restrictions - an update on government support schemes

With the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new four-week lockdown in England, the government has also revealed a number of changes to its financial support schemes.

From Thursday 5 November 2020, England will be placed on a four-week lockdown. The new restrictions, similar to those enforced during the first seven-week lockdown in March, mean that everyone must now stay at home and may only leave for a limited set of reasons, including work, education, shopping for food and outdoor exercise.

As businesses continue to face significant financial and operational pressures stemming from Covid-19 and its wider impact, the government has announced the following additional financial support.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The furlough scheme (also referred to as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme), which was due to come to a close on 31 October, has now been extended until the end of March 2021. Employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked (up to a maximum of £2,500).

Local Restrictions Support Grant

In certain circumstances, business premises that are forced to close in line with the new four-week lockdown restrictions can receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant, with money being made available to other nations’ governments to enable similar grants. You can read more about this grant here

Mortgage payment holidays

Borrowers who have been impacted by Covid-19 and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will now be entitled to a six-month holiday. Those who have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months, without this being recorded on their credit file.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

A third instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will see those who qualify, receive 80% of average trading profits until the end of January 2021 (up to a maximum of £7,500). The self-employed can also access Bounce Back Loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays and other business support grants.

Government-backed loan schemes

Deadlines for applications for government-backed loan schemes – including CBILS and Bounce Back Loans – have been further extended from 30 November 2020 until 31 January 2021.

With these new restrictions and additional support schemes, you may have questions around the financial wellbeing of you or your business.

As always, Wesleyan Financial Services Consultants are available to offer practical support and guidance. If you would like to book your remote meeting for a time and date that best suits your schedule, please follow this link: https://www.wesleyan.co.uk/secure/find-my-fc

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-new-national-restrictions

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-increases-support-for-self-employed-across-the-uk

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/nov/05/uk-coronavirus-live-uk-rishi-sunak-furlough-details-covid-latest-updates