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A spokesperson for HM Treasury said that given the renewed restrictions on people and businesses, “now is not the right time to outline long-term plans”.

Although Chancellor Rishi Sunak would ordinarily outline the picture of the nation’s finances, along with any proposed changes to taxation, the Treasury insisted that “people want to see us focused on the here and now” and the fight to flatten another second wave of COVID-19 cases.

A Treasury source has also said: “No-one wanted to be in this situation, but we need to respond to it.

“The Chancellor has shown he has been creative in the past and we hope that people will trust us to continue in that vein”.

Despite the prospect of no Autumn Budget this year, the Government has confirmed a spending review will take place to outline the general trends of Government spending in recent months.

The announcement of the Autumn Budget’s cancellation arrived the day before Mr Sunak revealed his Winter Economy Plan to the House of Commons on 24th September.

This plan, which is likely to guide the country through what’s been described as an “unquestionably difficult” winter by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will detail what happens once the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme expires on 31st October.

The Bank of England’s new governor Andrew Bailey recently urged the Chancellor to “stop and rethink” plans for a cliff-edge closure to the scheme, with no targeted support for the most at-risk industries.

The Chancellor detailed the next stage of the government’s economic plan to financially support small businesses and the self-employed community during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

His proposals included the launch of a new Jobs Support Scheme, designed to support “viable UK employers” by providing government contributions to employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £697.92 per month.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has also been extended to provide two quarterly cash grants, with the first capped at 20% of an individual’s average monthly trading profits.

The Government’s finance schemes, aimed at providing competitive business loans to small businesses nationwide, have also been extended. The Bounce Back Loans Scheme now enables small firms to repay over ten years rather than six. Meanwhile the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has also seen the government extend the guarantee of these loans for up to ten years too.

VAT rates have also been frozen at 5% for the hospitality sector and the self-employed community will be given extensions to pay their outstanding liabilities from July 2020 and those ahead in January 2021.

Last updated: 7th October 2020


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