Campaign Response for Extension of Covid-19 Support Schemes

Thank you for contacting me about extending the COVID-19 job retention and self-employment support schemes.

I am not aware of any plans to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or Self-Employed Income Support Scheme beyond the existing extensions.

I welcome that the extension of SEISS means that self-employed individuals can qualify for a second and final taxable grant, with the scheme having reopened for applications on 17th August 2020. This second grant will be worth 70 per cent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £6,570 in total, and according to the same eligibility criteria as the first grant. This extension is fair as it matches the support available under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Some self-employed individuals may have only been adversely affected by COVID-19 during this second stage of the scheme, therefore an individual does not have to have claimed a grant in the first stage in order to apply for and receive a grant in the second stage.

I welcome the decision that was made to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. On 12th May 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Scheme would continue until the end of October, with new flexibility introduced from August to get employees back to work. This includes furloughed workers being able to return to work on a part-time basis, with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of furloughed staff. Furthermore, recent statistics indicate that the CJRS has so far protected over 9.6 million workers. I believe this extension is a crucial step in supporting employees and businesses during the current pandemic.

I have spoken with colleagues at the Treasury to raise the important points you have made, however I feel that although the initial extensions were timely and necessary in the context of this crisis, a further extension would delay our economic recovery and cause untold damage to livelihoods by preventing the economy returning to full speed. Having said that, I believe some sector specific targeted support may well be necessary in the coming months and have raised this with the Chancellor.

I will continue to monitor the situation closely as it develops and act accordingly. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.

Sally-Ann Hart MP