A national lockdown is not cost-free; like many, I am concerned that England’s new restrictions may potentially harm lives, livelihoods and mental health.

Though I voted no in the motion which approved England’s second national lockdown, we must comply. To support these restrictions the Government have announced:

  • An extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March
  • Eligible employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500
  • There will be no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked
  • An extension and increase to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) from 40% of trading profits to 80% for November
  • As SEISS grants are calculated over 3 months, this increases the total level of the grant 80% of trading profits for November to January and the maximum grant will increase to £7,500
  • HMRC will pay this grant sooner than planned and in good time for Christmas – the window for claiming a grant will open on 30 November, two weeks earlier than previously announced
  • Businesses that are forced to close due to restrictions will receive up to £3,000 per month, which will benefit over 600,000 business premises
  • Local authorities in England will also receive one off funding of £1.1 billion to support businesses more broadly over the coming months as a key part of local economies
  • This funding will be distributed on the basis of c.£20/head of population
  • Some of this funding has already been provided to local areas that entered into Tier 3
  • Mortgage payment holidays will continue to be available for homeowners
  • Payment holidays will continue to be available for consumer credit products
  • Up to £500 million will be provided to local councils for local public health initiatives, such as additional contact tracing, testing for hard-to-reach groups and communications
  • Over £32 million is being given to local authorities to provide support to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people who need it. This includes helping people to access food and meeting other support needs to enable them to stay at home as much as possible for the 28-day period that the restrictive advice is in force. Funding is weighted by the number of those Clinically Extremely Vulnerable who live within the local authority boundaries

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