Self-employed workers could be given additional financial support for the duration of the new national lockdown, Michael Gove has hinted.
It comes after the furlough scheme, which was due to end, was extended. A number of grants are also being made available for businesses forced to close in England.
The Cabinet Office Minister told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “The announcement about furlough that was made yesterday was about the extension of a scheme, that would have expired last night, throughout the rest of this month.
“And the Chancellor and his team are looking at every aspect of economic support and more will be said in the days ahead about how we provide it.”
People and businesses across the UK will get extra support as part of the second lockdown during the next phase of the Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister announced on Saturday.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ends today. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.
Other measures include grants worth up to £3,000 for business premises forced to close in England under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Also, £1.1bn is being given to councils, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.
Mortgage holidays will also be extended. They too had been due to end in October. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.
“I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”