Govt to pay 80% of wages to workers affected by Covid-19

The Government is launching the "coronavirus job retention scheme" and will step in and help pay 80% of wages for employees not working, which will be up to £2,500 a month.

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in tonight's coronvirus briefing, said the Government is making an “unprecedented” economic intervention to help cover UK workers’ wages during the coronavirus pandemic. Wages will be covered for the next three months, backdated to 1 March 2020.

Companies and organisations will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover the wages of people unable to work due to the coronavirus, and the move, which is a first in UK history, means that workers across companies in the UK can retain their jobs – even if their bosses can’t afford to pay them.

The Chancellor also revealed he is deferring VAT for all businesses until the end of June, which Sunak suggested is representing a “£30bn injection into the economy”.

He confirmed businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay these bills, in a bid to help firms struggling with a cash flow crisis during the virus outbreak.

Sunak revealed the Government will also be extending its coronavirus business interruption loan scheme to be interest free for 12 months – which is up from 6 months.

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