Government Announces Coronavirus Bailout Package To Protect Workers
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced that the government will pay at least 80 percent of people's salary in a huge bailout amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 'coronavirus job retention scheme' will be open to all businesses and will be available within weeks, and it was confirmed that the government would pay up to £2,500 per month to each member of staff that would otherwise be laid off.
In what was called 'unprecedented measures for unprecedented times', the package was unveiled after widespread complaints that not enough was being done to protect ordinary people's livelihoods amid the pandemic and is open to all businesses across the UK.
1/ Getting through this will require a collective national effort, with a role for everyone to play. It's on all of us.
Our Plan for People's Jobs and Incomes is a combination of measures unprecedented for a government of this nation. The first part is to protect people's jobs. pic.twitter.com/FOV427gv6f
- Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) March 20, 2020
It comes amid warnings that a million people could lose their jobs within months, with reports of many being laid off already.
Mr Sunak said: "You will not face this alone."
He said that the government will provide a combination of measures to both self-employed and unemployed people, and to keep people in their homes and jobs.
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It was also announced that Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credits will also be increased for next 12 months by £1000 per year.
All in all, the government will be deferring £30 billion of taxes until the end of April, as well as abolishing business rates for hospitality, retail and leisure.
Mr Sunak tweeted: "For the first time in our history, the British government is going to step in and help pay people's wages.
"Government grants will cover 80 percent of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month, that's above UK median earnings level."
He also acknowledged that many people have already lost their jobs, saying that the Working Tax Credits and Universal Credit increases will benefit more than four million households.
He added: "We want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort - and stood together.
"It's on all of us."
Featured Image Credit: PA