Chancellor expected to increase Covid jobs support

UK borrowing soars amid Covid costs

Chancellor expected to increase Covid jobs support

The chancellor looks set to unveil new support  for workers in parts of England under Tier 2 Covid restrictions.

Rishi Sunak is expected to announce an update to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) – which is set to replace furlough in November – in the Commons today (Thursday).

Critics say not enough is being done for companies in tier two areas that have seen demand collapse without being formally required to shut.

In tier three areas, workers at firms ordered to shut get emergency support.

The new measures should help pubs, bars and restaurants in particular.

Currently, hospitality premises in “high risk” areas such as London and Birmingham are only allowed to take customers from the same household, unless mixed groups sit outside, resulting in a large fall in trade.

Although they are allowed to stay open, unlike those in Tier 3, they are entitled to lesser financial support.

They can apply for a scheme that pays 55% of staff wages, but companies in “very high risk” areas forced to close can get 66% of wages paid for – as well as £3,000 a month in business grants.

Mr Sunak’s action comes as figures showed the Government has borrowed more than a billion pounds every day during the pandemic, the Daily Mail reports.

Office for National Statistics data revealed ministers have borrowed £208 billion over the six months since April, working out at around £1.14 billion daily, according to the newspaper.

Efforts to bring Government spending back under control have been derailed by a second surge of coronavirus which has seen more than half the population plunged into local lockdowns.

Ministers announced yesterday that South Yorkshire would be moved into the top Tier Three restrictions at the weekend.

Talks to put Nottinghamshire into the ‘very high risk’ category are said to be close.

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