Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a three-month VAT holiday for all businesses in a bid to help companies survive the coronavirus crisis
The tax break, which is set to benefit almost every UK business, represents a £30 billion cash injection into the economy and forms part of a wider set of ’unprecedented’ measures to protect jobs.
Sunak also announced a new ’coronavirus job retention scheme’, which would see the government pay 80 per cent of wages for employees not working up to £2,500 a month.
It is understood companies would be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover the wages of staff who were not working due to coronavirus shutdowns but who had not been made redundant.
The chancellor said: ’Let me speak directly to businesses: I know it’s incredibly difficult out there – we in government are doing everything we can to support you.
’The government is doing its best to stand behind you and I’m asking you to do your best to stand behind our workers.’
The AJ has already heard of some practices laying off staff as a result of the virus lockdown.
RIBA chief executive Alan Vallance said: ’We are encouraged by the financial measures announced this evening and hope they will provide much-needed support for practices to retain staff and manage cash flow.
’The RIBA is engaging with the government on a daily basis and this latest package of support reflects proposals we put to the Chancellor earlier this week. We will continue to ensure the concerns of our members are heard, understood and acted upon.’