Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 18th March 2020

18th March 2020

18th March 2020

The present challenge we face from coronavirus is an unprecedented occurrence in our country’s history – at least since the Second World War.

Events are moving so quickly that it is highly likely that by the time you come to read these words (penned on Tuesday evening), the official public health advice regarding our response to COVID-19 may well have moved on again.

Do please keep a close eye on nhs.uk/coronavirus to make sure you have the latest information. The government has been crystal clear that we will be led by the very best medical and scientific advice and do our utmost to make sure that businesses are supported.

On Tuesday afternoon (17th March), Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced an extraordinarily wide-ranging package of measures to meet the economic threat from the virus.

The scale of what the government is doing demonstrates our commitment to make sure the economy is protected during the months ahead.

The centrepiece of our approach is up to £330 billion of government-backed loans. Businesses of all sizes with an immediate need to access cash will be able to secure a loan on favourable terms.

We need to support businesses in this way to protect employment and minimise job losses.

The package of measures announced by the Chancellor is particularly focussed on those sectors which have been immediately hit by the impact of the virus.

The retail, hospitality and leisure industries will pay no business rates this year, irrespective of their size, and for those businesses in these sectors with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, they will also be able to secure a cash grant of up to £25,000.

Small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief can receive grants of up to £10,000.

We are not just supporting businesses but our support for the economy will go much wider.

For anyone unable to pay their mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic, banks will be required to offer a three-month mortgage holiday, making sure that no one can lose their home because of the virus.

Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear that we will do whatever it takes to get through this crisis.

If more is needed to be done to assist the economy, then we are prepared to take whatever steps may become necessary.

Posted by John Glen at 9:23am

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