Brief on the Statement from the Chancellor of Exchequer Delivered in the House of Commons on the 17th of March 2020
The Chancellor has announced measures on top of those introduced in the Budget last week. Only short-term measures were announced today, the long term-ones will be announced in due course. All measures outlined below will come into effect most probably from early next week.
• The Chancellor announced that government backed, and guaranteed loans will be introduced. • He stated that £330 billion will be introduced in guarantees, which is roughly 15% of the GDP.
• The government will make these loans available to businesses in order to relieve them of their largest fixed costs, such as rent payments and paying their staff.
• Should the demand prove to be greater, the capacity can be greatly increased.
• The Business Interruption Loan Scheme ➢ Originally loans up to £1.2 million were announced ➢ Loans of up to £5 million can now be accessed, with no interest for the first 6 months.
• The potentiality of greatly aiding airlines and airports is now being looked at.
• Businesses which have a policy that covers pandemics will be able to make an insurance claim against their policy. Those who do not have such a policy, and are in the retail, hospitality or leisure industries and have a rateable value of less than £51 000 will have access to a cash grant of up to £25 000. In addition to these measures, for all businesses in the aforementioned sectors, a business rate holiday will be introduced.
• 700 000 of our smallest businesses can receive up to £10 000 up from £3 000 in cash grants, announced in the Budget.
• For those individuals, who might have difficulties due to the pandemic, a 3 months mortgage holiday is now introduced.
• In the coming days the Chancellor aims to go further to support individuals. New forms of employment support will be worked out, in concert with trade unions.
• Those individuals who are in need of urgent help should go to their local authorities which can provide support through various schemes. Additional funding for local authorities was announced in the Budget.