The explanation is complete
On Monday, the Prime Minister set out the measures we need to take by early December to control the spread of the coronavirus.
In response, we are providing significant additional support to protect jobs and livelihoods in all regions and countries of the UK:
An extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme;
More generous support for the self-employed and faster payment of this support;
Closed company cash grants of up to £ 3,000 per month worth over £ 1 billion per month;
£ 1.6 billion for UK councils to support their local economy and local health care response;
Longer to apply for our loan programs and Future Fund;
The chance to recharge bounce back loans;
And an extension of the mortgage payment vacation.
All in addition to more than £ 200 billion in tax support since March.
This declaration follows the monetary policy decisions of the Bank of England today, which means that all economic and monetary institutions play their part.
As you would expect, the governor and I are in constant communication as the situation evolves.
Our answers are carefully designed to be complementary and to provide security and support to people and businesses across the UK. The bank’s forecasts this morning show that economic activity will be supported by our extensive fiscal and monetary policies.
And the IMF just last week described the UK economic plan as “aggressive”, “unprecedented”, successful in “containing” unemployment and business failure and “one of the best examples of coordinated action in the world”.
Our top priority remains the same: protecting jobs and livelihoods.
For this reason we have already decided to extend the Job Retention Scheme to December.
But people and companies will want to know what’s next. How long do we want to keep the system open and under what conditions?
You want security.
The government intends to keep the new health restrictions only until early December.
However, as we’ve seen from the initial lockdown, the economic impact on businesses and territories is much longer than the duration of restrictions.
And as the Bank of England said this morning, “the economic recovery has slowed” and economic risks are “turned down”.
Given this significant uncertainty, a deteriorating economic environment and the need to keep people and businesses safe in winter, I think it is right to go further.
So today we can announce that the vacation program will not be extended by one month – it will be extended until the end of March. The government will continue to help pay people’s wages, up to 80% of the normal amount.
All employers must pay employer NICs and pension contributions for hours not worked.
We will review the policy in January to determine if economic conditions are improving enough to ask employers to make more contributions.
With the vacation itself now being extended to the end of March, the original purpose of the job retention bonus, to incentivize employers to keep people in work until the end of January, is apparently removed.
Instead, we will reinstate a retention incentive in due course.
And for the self-employed, I can confirm that the next income subsidy, covering the November to January period, will now increase to 80% of average earnings up to £ 7,500.
I also want to reassure the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The vacation program was designed and implemented by the UK Government on behalf of all the people of the UK – wherever they live.
This has been the case since March; it is now the case; and will remain the case until next March.
It is evidence of the strength of the Union – and an indisputable truth of this crisis – that we have only been able to provide this level of economic support because we are a United Kingdom.
And I can announce today that the upfront guaranteed funding for the decentralized administrations has increased from £ 14 billion to £ 16 billion. This treasury is, was and always will be the treasury for the entire United Kingdom.
I know the people watching at home have been frustrated with the changes the government has made over the past few weeks. I had to adjust our economic plans quickly as the spread of the virus accelerated.
I would like to take this opportunity to explain how and why this happened.
During the summer when we slowly began development, we hoped that the land would continue to remain economically open, even though local restrictions were put in place if necessary.
We knew the spread of the virus was likely to resurface, but with increased NHS capacity and Test and Trace, we felt we could always stay one step ahead of the virus.
With that in mind, we’ve developed an economic approach that continues to provide wage support to people, encourages companies to keep employees past the end of the vacation program, and created new job creation and training programs like Kickstart.
All were built to support an economy that was wide open, but operated with limitations and an overall lower demand.
At the time, this approach was not just government work. Our proposals met with broad support, from the TUC to the CBI.
It was their hope, as it was ours, that the public health situation would allow us to keep businesses and jobs open.
However, the virus continued to spread. Localized constraints worked, so we stepped up that approach and added more areas.
As these restrictions tightened, the economic impact, particularly on industries such as the hospitality sector, was significant.
In response, we have changed our approach to wage support to make it much more generous for employers, thereby protecting jobs.
We have also introduced a number of grants for open or closed business companies to help them meet their fixed costs.
And additional funding for local authorities to respond to specific local economic challenges.
But here too the virus continued to spread, but faster.
And so we come to last week when the government’s scientific and medical advisors came up with data showing that R is greater than 1 in all parts of the UK, that the NHS could be overwhelmed in a few weeks, and likely the result Result loss of life that would accompany such an event.
The only viable solution to protecting our NHS has been to reintroduce temporary significant heightened restrictions in England on top of those in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Given these changing public health restrictions and the economic trauma they would cause in job losses and business closings, I thought it best to extend the vacation program rather than to the new support system right now transferring jobs.
Now political opponents have chosen to attack the government to try to keep the economy going and to ensure that the support we are providing encourages people to keep working.
And they will no doubt now criticize the government on the basis that we had to change our approach.
For anyone in the real world, this is exactly what to do when circumstances change.
We all hope for the best, but make sure we plan for any eventuality.
We can only reintroduce vacation now because we kept the system on which it was based operational, because there was always the possibility that we could be in that situation again.
I leave it to the people of this country to decide whether they believe the government is trying their best to assist the people in an unprecedented crisis.
Deciding whether it’s good or bad to change our economic plans when health constraints change.
What I know is that the support we are providing will protect millions of jobs.
What I do know is that it is never wrong to use our words and actions to instill trust in this country and our economy.
And what I know is today’s announcement that will bring immense comfort to people and businesses in our country in a difficult winter.
And I recommend this statement to the house.