Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Treasury written question – answered on 11th January 2021.

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Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast South

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to review the eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in light of the April extension to that scheme in order to allow people excluded and represented by #excludeduk to access that scheme.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has helped to protect the livelihoods of millions of people. As of 13 December, 9.9m jobs have been supported by the CJRS, with the total value of claims over £46bn.

The Government has continued to adapt and try to include as many people as practically possible. For example, in April, the Government extended the cut-off date for the CJRS to 19 March (from 28 February), bringing in over 200,000 employees to the scope of the scheme; and similarly, has introduced new cut-off dates, most recently 30 October 2020. This allows as many people as possible to be included in the scheme by going right up to the day before the announcement, balancing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public.

There is also extensive additional support available for businesses which may support their workforce including over £65 billion in affordable finance to firms through business loan schemes, grants, a business rates holiday, and tax cuts and deferrals. This is in addition to a temporary £8 billion increase to welfare, mortgage holidays and help with council tax payments. The Government has also introduced further support worth £4.6 billion across the United Kingdom; this includes Barnett funding of £729 million to support local businesses.

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