Chancellor announces new Covid-19 economic support – everything you need to know

Back in July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a second range of measures designed to protect the economy through the Covid-19 pandemic.

His next update was scheduled to be the Autumn Statement in the coming weeks. However, given the newly imposed Covid-19 restrictions and economic uncertainty, the Budget has been cancelled.

In a statement sent to the BBC, a spokesperson for the Treasury said: “As we heard this week, now is not the right time to outline long-term plans – people want to see us focused on the here and now.

“So, we are confirming today that there will be no Budget this autumn.”

Instead, on Thursday 24th September, the Chancellor unveiled his winter economy plan, setting out the next phase of the economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Introducing his new measures, the Chancellor acknowledged that the virus will be a fact of life ‘for at least the next six months’ and so the economy will need ‘a more permanent’ adjustment.

Here are the main points announced in Rishi Sunak’s latest speech.

A new Job Support Scheme

The Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, dubbed the ‘furlough scheme’, in March just as the scale of the pandemic was becoming clear. The aim was to prevent a rise in unemployment when businesses were forced to shut down to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The furlough scheme initially paid 80% of the wages of workers that were unable to work, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. As the economy reopened, employers had to pay 10% of the wages of those on furlough and workers could return part-time, with the government making up the hours not worked.

With the furlough scheme ending at the end of October, the Chancellor was keen to continue to support at-risk jobs.

A new Job Support Scheme means that the government and employers will jointly cover the cost of those having to work fewer hours. Under the scheme, businesses will have the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours, rather than making them redundant.

To be eligible for the scheme, an employee will have to work a minimum of 33% of their hours, in order that the scheme only protects ‘viable’ jobs.

For the remaining hours not worked, the government and employer will each pay one-third of the employee’s wages. It means that employees working 33% of their hours will receive at least 77% of their overall pay.

The scheme will begin on 1 November 2020 and last for six months.

It’s important to note that, while all small and medium-sized firms are eligible, large firms are only eligible if their turnover has fallen in the pandemic.

The Job Support Scheme can also be used in conjunction with the Job Retention Bonus that the Chancellor announced in his Summer Statement.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn says: “These bold steps from the Treasury will save hundreds of thousands of viable jobs this winter. It is right to target help on jobs with a future but can only be part-time while demand remains flat.”

An extension to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor has been keen to provide the same support to self-employed workers as to employed staff.

In his statement, he revealed that he would extend the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to 30 April 2021, although at a much-reduced rate.

The extension will support viable traders who are facing reduced demand over the winter months, covering 20% of average monthly trading profits through a government grant.

More flexibility with government loan schemes

Sunak announced that, under his Pay as you Grow Scheme, he will offer more than one million businesses, which have borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the choice of more time and greater flexibility to make their repayments.

For example, businesses can now extend their loans from six to ten years, and businesses can choose to make interest-only repayments – or suspend repayments for up to six months – without affecting their credit rating.

Lenders who have been enabled to offer the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will also offer borrowers more time to make their repayments where needed.

The Chancellor also extended the application deadline for all coronavirus loan schemes – including the future fund – to the end of 2020.

Tax deferrals

Sunak announced that businesses who deferred their VAT this year will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March 2021.

Instead, they will have the option of splitting it into smaller, interest-free payments over the course of 11 months. This will benefit up to half a million businesses.

The Chancellor also announced that any of the millions of self-assessed income taxpayers who need extra help can also now extend their outstanding tax bill over 12 months from January 2021.

VAT reduction extended for hospitality sector

In his Summer Statement, the Chancellor reduced the VAT rate applicable to hospitality businesses from 20% to 5%.

In his address, Sunak announced that he will extend this VAT cut to the end of March 2021. Sunak says that this will continue to support more than 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about how these measures might affect you or your business, please get in touch.

PRIVACY NOTICE

Blue Financial Group Ltd (referred to as ‘we’ or ‘us’) takes the privacy and security of your personal information seriously. This policy sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you or you provide to us, will be processed. Please ensure you understand our policy and practices in relation to holding your personal data and how we process it.
By visiting our website or engaging with us, you consent to the practices laid out in this policy.

DISCLOSURE OF YOUR INFORMATION

We may share personal data we hold about you with other parties. however, this will only be with companies who we work with on your behalf and for a legitimate purpose, which is necessary to ensure that we remain compliant with our legal and regulatory responsibilities. Steps will be taken to ensure that the information is accurate, kept up to date and not kept for longer than is necessary.
We will ensure your data is safeguarded against unauthorised or unlawful processing. The information you provide is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 (the ‘Act’). By signing our Service Charter, you consent to us or any company associated with us processing your personal data. We will not share or sell personal information about you with third parties except to provide the information, products or services you have requested.
Under the Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulation individuals have a Right to Erasure (‘right to be forgotten’) which can be applied to personal data, in specific circumstances, and is a right that you may be able to exercise for the data that we hold for you. However, we can refuse to comply with a request for erasure where the personal data is being processed to comply with a legal obligation. Under FCA regulation we have a mandatory requirement to retain your data for specified periods (and for some products, such as occupational pension transfers, we are required to retain this data indefinitely) which may impact your Right to Erasure.
If at any time you wish us, or any company associated with us to cease processing your personal data or sensitive personal data, or contacting you for marketing purposes, please contact The Data Protection Officer on (01403 334455) or in writing at Best Practice IFA Group Ltd, Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4QP. Subject to certain exceptions, you are entitled to have access to your personal and sensitive personal data held by us.

SAFEGUARDING DATA

We are required to follow procedures with regards to maintaining the confidentiality of your personal information. We will continually review these procedures to ensure your information remains safeguarded and will make changes as we deem it appropriate to do so.
However, when sharing information via the Internet, due to its open nature, we cannot guarantee the security of such information that you transmit via our website.

INFORMATION WE MAY COLLECT FROM YOU

We may collect and process the following data about you:
• Information you provide – You may give us information about you by completing our contact form on our Website or by engaging with us via phone, email or in writing. The information would likely include your name, address, email address and any other contact information. It will also include other detailed financial and personal information about you if you engage with our services.
• Information we collect – When you visit our website we may collect the following information:
o Technical information including your IP address, browser type and version, pages visited, geographic location and your device information.

HOW WE MAKE USE OF THE INFORMATION

We may use your personal information in the following ways:
• To provide you with any services/products you request from us and notify you of any changes. This includes carrying out our ongoing obligations/service to you that arise from any contracts entered between you and us.
• To meet our compliance, regulatory and legal requirements as defined by the varying bodies that regulate us.

STORING YOUR PERSONAL DATA

We take appropriate measures to ensure that any personal data are kept secure, including security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to the Website; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Keeping your personal data up to date
If your personal details change you may update them by accessing this data through the wealth platform portal, or by contacting us using the contact details below. If you have any questions about how we use data collected which relates to you, please contact us via phone or email.
We will endeavour to update your personal data within seven working days of any new or updated personal data being provided to us, in order to ensure that the personal data We hold about you is as accurate and up to date as possible.
How long we keep your personal data
• We will hold personal data (e.g. name, address, date of birth and contact details) in line with our regulatory and legal obligations as set out by our regulator – currently a minimum of 5 years for investment business and indefinitely for occupational pension transfer or opt-out business.
Where we store your personal data
All of the information that we hold about you is stored on secure servers that comply with the GDPR requirements. They also comply with the most widely accepted standards and regulations like ISO27001, 27017, 27018 and SOC 1, 2 and 3.
If you would like further information please contact us or the Compliance Director at Best Practice IFA Group Limited, of which we are an Appointed Representative (see ‘Contact’ below).

YOUR RIGHTS

Under the General Data Protection Regulation you have a number of important rights free of charge. In summary, those include rights to:
• Access to your personal data and to certain other supplementary information that this policy is already designed to address
• Require us to correct any mistakes in your information which we hold
• Require the erasure of personal data concerning you in certain situations
• Receive the personal data concerning you which you have provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit those data to a third party in certain situations
• Object at any time to processing of personal data concerning you for direct marketing
• Object to decisions being taken by automated means which produce legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affect you
• Object in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal data
• Otherwise restrict our processing of your personal data in certain circumstances
• Claim compensation for damages caused by our breach of any data protection laws.
For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals rights under the General Data Protection Regulation

HOW TO COMPLAIN

We have that we or our Compliance Director can resolve any query or concern you raise about our use of your information. The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ or telephone 0303 1231113.

COOKIE POLICY

Cookies are on almost every website. They are small text files that are placed on your computer (or any other device used to connect to the internet) by websites that you visit. They are saved on your computer to help the website perform differing functions and are used for several reasons. This is purely statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns and does not identify any individual. We may, however, use such information in conjuction with the data we have about you in order to track your use of our services.

TYPES OF COOKIES USED

The website uses cookies for a variety of reasons but with the main purpose of ensuring the website runs as efficiently as possible.

We use all or some of the following categories of cookies on our website:

  • Analytical” cookies. They allow Us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around the Website when they are using it. This helps Us to improve the way our Website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
  • Strictly necessary” cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our Website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our Website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.
  • Functionality” cookies. These are used to recognise you when you return to our Website. This enables Us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
  • Targeting” cookies. These cookies record your visit to our Website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed to our affiliates websites. We will use this information to make our Website, offers e-mailed to you and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.
    At any time, you can prevent cookies from being received by your browser. By deleting cookies, this may affect the experience via our website. Please refer to your browser Help guide for details on how to block or delete any cookies.

CONTACT

All questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy and Cookies Policy should be addressed to Robert Bowers rob.bowers@bluewealth.co.uk or write to us at 3 Westbury Mews, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3QA. Alternatively, please contact our Compliance Director at Best Practice IFA Group Ltd, Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4QP. Tel 01403 334455 or via email at info@bestpractice.co.uk