Chancellor extends Job Support Scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the scope of the the government's support for employers affected by the coronavirus pandemic as the previous package is drawing to a close but restrictions remain in place.

But while the government has warned the scheme will cost hundreds of millions of pounds, many commentators say the support doesn't go far enough.

The new Job Support Scheme will support businesses that have been forced to close due to restrictions, but not those that are indirectly impacted as the previous furlough scheme did. It covers 67 per cent of an individual's wage, up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee per month.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "It is right that the chancellor has responded to our long-standing calls for more local support, as so many areas across the UK now face restrictions and closures. More generous cash grants will be of some help, but for most this will not be enough to offset a sustained cash crunch.

"As welcome as this new support will be for companies shut down by government decree, additional local restrictions and lockdowns will have a material impact on many other firms, especially in supply chains and in town and city centres. Their cash flow concerns, and worries about future demand, must be heeded."

He added: "At the end of the day, no fiscal support will ever be a substitute for an open, functioning economy. While the Chancellor deserves thanks for enhancing the support on offer, the goal of all governments across the UK must be to get to a point where wide-ranging restrictions, and the economic disruption they bring, are no longer needed."

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