Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, has today welcomed the Government’s expansion of the Job Support Scheme.
Since the start of the pandemic Caroline has been in regular contact with business owners and employees – including hosting roundtables and visiting some of the Gosport Constituency’s bars, shops and hotels to hear about their experience of the pandemic. Naturally, some worried about what might happen if their business was forced to temporarily close again in the future.
Under today’s expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work - protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.
The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions, a very small proportion of overall employment costs.
In addition to the expansion of the JSS, the Government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks, compared to the up to £1,500 every three weeks which was available previously. This could benefit hundreds of thousands of businesses, including restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, bowling alleys and many more.
Commenting, Caroline said: “Although at the moment case numbers in the Gosport Constituency do not require a local lockdown, these unprecedented job support measures are hugely welcome in calming the worries of businesses in my constituency who may be asked to close again temporarily in the future.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed. I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves. The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time.”