In today’s daily press conference, the chancellor announced that government grants will cover 80% of salary of retained workers.
Speaking after the Prime Minister’s address, Rishi Sunak said the cover of 80% will reach salaries up to £2,500 a month.
Starting with payroll from the first of March, this rescue wage package applies for three months with no limit on spending.
He stressed an urge to employers to “look to government” before laying workers off.
He also told businesses that VAT was suspended for the next quarter, with nothing due until June and giving until the end of the financial year to repay.
It comes as Boris Johnson told all pubs, bars and cafes to shut along with theatres, clubs, restaurants, leisure centres and gyms. Retailers at the moment are not being told to close.
The intervention from the chancellor is unprecedented in the history of Britain in a move which will see the Government, as Sunak put it, to “step in to pay people’s wages”.
Despite the increase in measures put forward, the PM was positive in telling the public when discussing social distancing that “your sacrifice means we are putting the country in a better and stronger position and we will be able to save thousands of lives.”