Contractor News Roundup: July 2020
As we head into the second half of 2020, there have been plenty of developments regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. We’ve put together a summary of the key contractor news stories, to keep you up to date.
Summer Statement and the ‘Plan for Jobs’
On 8th July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the Summer Statement, containing updates on the country’s economic performance over the last few months. The economy has suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic; Mr Sunak outlined his Plan for Jobs, a variety of measures designed to support the economy whilst protecting as many jobs as possible.
These measures include:
- The Job Retention Bonus
- Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
- Kickstart Scheme, to create jobs for under 25-year-olds
- Stamp duty holiday for house purchases under £500,000
- Temporary reduction in the rate of VAT for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors
Update to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
13th July marked the final day for self-employed workers to apply for the first round of the government’s self-employed income support scheme (SEISS), replacing lost income between March and May 2020.
The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant. Workers who are eligible for this grant and applied before the 13th July will receive 80% of their average profits up to a maximum of £7,500. This grant will cover three months’ worth of profits and will be paid in a single instalment.
The scheme has been extended, however 70% of average trading profits will be paid (down from 80%) and this will be capped at the lower figure of £6,570. Businesses who have been impacted by the pandemic on or after 14th July 2020, and can prove this to HMRC, will be able to make a claim from 17th August 2020.
Economy may take longer to recover than first expected
According to analysis from the EY Item Club, the UK economy could take until 2024 to return to levels before lockdown was imposed. The good news is that the UK has most likely passed the lowest point, but the economic recovery is likely to take around 18 months longer to recover than first expected.
Many businesses have been impacted by the pandemic, consumer caution has shaped a new type of shopping habit and stores are much quieter than pre-pandemic levels. The government has taken action to raise customer spending in order to keep the economy going and prevent further job losses.
Catch up with the latest updates
Our blog is kept up to date with the latest contractor news, insights and developments. For further information on the various support measures for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, visit our Coronavirus support page.