Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced further support for those self-employed and for businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions to protect businesses and livelihoods.
Currently, the Gosport Constituency remains in the ‘medium’ Local COVID-19 Alert Level. However, as COVID-19 cases in Hampshire continue to rise, the news has been welcomed by Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, who has been in regular contact with businesses concerned about the potential impact of any further restrictions.
New and extended measures include making the Open Job Support Scheme more generous as businesses face lower demand, including ensuring that employees take 73% of their pay home for working a minimum 20% of their hours. Employer contribution to their salary will also be cut to just 5% and the government will pay at least 62% of hours not worked.
Those claiming the Self-Employment Support Scheme - which at the last count was over 2600 residents in the Gosport Constituency – will see their grant double from 20% to 40%, to be capped at £3750. Grants will also be available to all those self-employed from February to April, no matter of Tier restrictions, who have stopped trading or have seen a significant fall in their trade.
Finally, Gosport Borough Council and Fareham Borough Council will receive new cash grants for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses, which could provide every business with a direct grant of up to £2100 for every month spent in a high alert level.
“I know that many across the Gosport Constituency, especially in the hospitality sector, have been hard hit by the pandemic and are concerned about the implications of any potential future restrictions.
“These measures are vitally important to protect jobs and livelihoods across Gosport, Hill Head, Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent should the situation worsen.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“I’ve always said that we must be ready to adapt our financial support as the situation evolves, and that is what we are doing today. These changes mean that our support will reach many more people and protect many more jobs.
“I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities. I hope the government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”