Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, gives a mixed reception to the Government’s latest Coronavirus measures.
The measures announced today by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak include:
- Cafes, pubs and restaurants must close from Friday night, except for take-away food, whilst nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been asked to close as soon as they can.
- Businesses will be able to apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to cover 80% of the salary for those retained but not working.
- VAT for all businesses is being deferred until the end of June and the business loan scheme will now be interest free for 12 months
- Universal Credit allowance increases £1,000 a year and the next tax self assessments will be deferred until the start of next year
- The self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay, and a further £1bn to cover 30% of house rental costs
Andrew Gwynne said:
“There are many welcome measures here and I am particularly pleased to see the Government take the overdue decision to close places where people meet socially. This is a very necessary measure to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Covering 80% of a worker’s salary up to £2,500 a month is a good step forwards, but £94.25 for the self-employed is completely inadequate. I also have serious concerns about the offer for private renters. Further support for these groups is needed urgently.
“I hope that these measures will start to give businesses and workers more certainty, but more still needs to be done urgently so that nobody is left behind.”