COVID-19 NEWS BULLETIN 8th APRIL 2020
MPs Bash Government over Self Employment
“If we can make the payments earlier, we definitely will. But mid-May is likely for when people will be able to claim.”
The HMRC top boss said there were a number of steps the department had to go through to pay the money and that establishing which workers were applying for the scheme and collecting their bank details were the main hold ups.
He said: “We have the data to calculate most people’s entitlement, but we need them to say whether they wish to claim as it's only open to those affected and we will need their bank details.”
Ms Ali also raised concerns about the fairness of the regime for single workers compared to households.
Ms Ali said households with two incomes of just less than £50,000 would get two times the support, while a single income of just over £50,000 would get nothing. She asked: “Is this appropriate? What can be done to improve the scheme?”
But Mr Harra said it was “extremely difficult” for HMRC to take account of households, adding that if they “had a lot of time” the government could work on developing the policy in a range of ways.
Ms Ali said this was “no comfort” for people who were in this “extreme situation”.
When asked by chair of the committee, MP Mel Stride, how HMRC planned to enforce only self-employed workers affected by the coronavirus receiving the grants, Mr Harra said they had “no plans” to check in advance of people claiming.
He said: “We’re relying on people using the scheme responsibly. We expect the majority of self-employed people to have been affected by the virus, but we know some people are considering not applying for the scheme because they do not need it.
“Also, there is a natural protection as where grants are given to businesses, it will form part of their taxable profits, therefore it will boost their profits on their return next year.” Source: Financial Adviser
Updated Guidance 8th April 2020
Businesses could help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of the coronavirus outbreak and similar situations in the future, as a result of £20 million government funding announced today (Friday 3 April).
Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the coronavirus outbreak.
Innovations could include:
new technology allowing retailers to respond better to sudden spikes of consumer demand and improve deliveries across the UK
new services for families to connect with and remotely monitor their elderly or vulnerable relatives, giving people peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving the services they require such as food deliveries, doctor’s appointments and paying bills
creating education tools which seamlessly integrate the classroom with the kitchen table, allowing teachers to remotely set dynamic tasks, support vulnerable children and make certain no child is left behind
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:
The response of researchers and businesses to the coronavirus outbreak have been remarkable. This new investment will support the development of technologies that can help industries, communities and individuals adapt to new ways of working when situations like this, and other incidents, arise.
Dr Ian Campbell, Executive Chair Innovate UK, said:
The COVID-19 situation is not just a health emergency, but also one that affects the economy and society. With that in mind, Innovate UK has launched this rapid response competition today seeking smart ideas from innovators. These could be proposals to help the distribution of goods, educate children remotely, keep families digitally connected and even new ideas to stream music and entertainment. The UK needs a great national effort and Innovate UK is helping by unleashing the power of innovation for people and businesses in need.
The proposals will be reviewed as part of a competition launched by Innovate UK, seeking the best new ideas from businesses.
All the projects will begin by June 2020 and will last up to 6 months, with products and services expected to be available to the public towards the end of this year.
Letter to Manufacturing and Industry
Briefing from No10. Briefing by Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer: Boris Johnson is responding to treatment. We have followed medical advice, and unprecedented action. This is a terrible virus that respects no one. We depend on each other; we will be there for you. We promise to do whatever it takes. £750m for the charity sector. Hospices and St Johns Ambulance will be supported. We depend on each other.
As new information is coming to light the below links are updated swiftly should you need a quick reference guide.
Essential Links for assistance via Gov.uk
Self-Employment & Universal Credit
Employment & Support Allowance
Covid-19 Small Business Government Grant
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan https://smallbusiness.co.uk/how-do-i-apply-for-a-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan- 2549863/
https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/emergency-funding.aspx https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruptionloan- scheme-cbils/
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