Lisa HoggView Profile
According to the Financial Times, Chancellor Rishi Sunak intends to extend the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (Furlough) until the autumn. Additionally, the current business rates relief and the impending review have been extended and delayed, with an exact date yet to be announced.
Business rates relief review delayed
In March 2020, the government introduced rates relief for English businesses in the hospitality, retail, and leisure sectors. A review of these relief rates was due at the end of March but has been delayed to the autumn when it is hoped there will be more clarity and certainty regarding the pandemic and the economy. With the review’s delay, an extension on the rates relief is expected for the duration.
On top of this, the Chancellor was expected to announce a new online sales tax targeting online retailers.
Insolvency measures extension
Despite the announcement of a roadmap out of lockdown, currently scheduled to end by 21st June 2021, many businesses face uphill battles and months of uncertainty.
The furlough scheme was set to conclude at the end of April but is expected to last until autumn with a new end date yet to be announced. This change is expected to be announced in the budget on 3rd March.
Additionally, the government laid out temporary amendments to corporate insolvency procedures and their financial support in parliament on 11th February.
Like furlough, the legislation was set to expire at the end of April, but it has been extended due to the coronavirus’ continued impact on businesses and everyday life.
A temporary suspension on issuing winding-up petitions and statutory demands was introduced in September 2020 to help protect businesses from falling into insolvency. This suspension is one of the measures now extended to autumn 2021. Companies and qualifying bodies obliged to hold AGMs can currently do so virtually until 30th March.
With the pandemic continuing to affect society, an extension to the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme and the insolvency measures to support businesses is likely to be announced. The business rates relief has been extended to the autumn, and the review into the rates has been delayed too. Measures postponing the issue of statutory demands and winding-up petitions have also been extended to autumn 2021.