An overview of the UK government financial package for COVID-19 relief

By Zoe Feller, Simon Gough, Caroline Brown, Andrew Rink, Lucy Turner


The comprehensive financial support package offered by the Chancellor has continued to increase and evolve since his initial announcements during the 2020 Budget. The measures were further bolstered by the unveiling of the Government's 'Plan For Jobs' on 8 July 2020, which set out additional stimulus policies worth £30 billion. As we move into the next phase of the recovery programme, with non-essential shops, gyms and restaurants re-opening, some of the government's support packages are beginning to enter their final stages.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme launched on 20 April and, as of 5 July 2020, 9.4 million employees had been furloughed at a cost of £27.4 billion to the Treasury. The transitory scheme will close at the end of October 2020, being replaced by a one-off Job Retention Bonus, paid to employers for each of those employees returning to work and retained until January 2021. There are also a variety of loans available to business, including the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. As of 30 June 2020, over 1 million government-guaranteed loans worth £42.91 billion have benefited businesses across the UK. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has also been extended, and will provide a total of 6 months financial support to the self-employed. As of 13 May 2020, 441,000 claims had been made under the scheme, costing £1.3 billion. New provisions, introduced in the 'Plan For Jobs', are intended to encourage a return to business and ease the initial burden of the economic reopening, including a VAT rate reduction for the hospitality and accommodation sectors and a stamp duty land tax 'holiday' to incentivise activity in the property market.

In the attached PDF we set out the details of these funding initiatives, eligibility criteria and how to apply, as well as details of tax and VAT deferral arrangements.

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