Business groups welcome extended coronavirus support

25 Sep 2020

Business groups have broadly welcomed the extended business support measures announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Winter Economy Plan.

Commenting on the Job Support Scheme, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General at the Confederation of British Industry, said: 'These bold steps from the Treasury will save hundreds of thousands of viable jobs this winter. It is right to target help on jobs with a future but can only be part-time while demand remains flat. This is how skills and jobs can be preserved to enable a fast recovery.

'Wage support, tax deferrals and help for the self-employed will reduce the scarring effect of unnecessary job losses as the UK tackles the virus. Employers will apply the same spirit of creativity, seizing every opportunity to retrain and upskill their workers.'

Adam Marshall, Director General at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: 'The measures announced by the Chancellor will give business and the economy an important shot in the arm.

'The Chancellor has responded to our concerns with substantial steps that will help companies preserve jobs and navigate through the coming months. As we look past the immediate challenge, more will need to be done to rebuild and renew our economy.'

However, Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, said: 'The support for the self-employed announced today is woefully inadequate. Although it is right for the Chancellor to extend the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, the support announced today still excludes one in three self-employed people.

'Limited company freelancers and the newly self-employed almost entirely missed out on support in the last lockdown and have faced bleak months of financial devastation. Now they face a dark winter ahead unless the government does more for them.

'Based on the drastic financial hit self-employed people took in the last lockdown, the new 20% cap on support is likely to be nowhere near enough.'

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