Muras Matters: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Help and Support Available


As the Country continues to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Government are implementing new measures to help businesses and individuals. Emergency legislation is being brought forward however at this stage there is still little in terms of detailed guidance available.

Summary measures

Support for Businesses

  • Job Retention Scheme;

Under the scheme all UK employers will be able to access support to continue to pay part of their employees’ salary for employees that would otherwise have been laid off. Those employees affected will be designated ‘furloughed employees’ and HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wage cost to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working on a system to claim and make these payments.

  • VAT and Income Tax Deferral

No VAT payments will be required from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Any payment falling due in this period will be deferred to 31 March 2021. This will be an automatic relief.

  • Income tax payments for the self-employed due in July 2002 can be deferred to January 2021.
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SME’s);

SSP can be reclaimed by businesses with less than 250 employees for sickness absence due to COVID-19

  • 12 month business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England;

The holiday will apply to the next council tax bill in April 2020

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000;

The local authority will write to all businesses to which the above two measures will apply

  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SME’s;

A business will be potentially eligible for a loan if the business is UK based with turnover of less than £45 million and if it satisfies the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan.

  • A new lending facility to help support liquidity among larger firms;

Under this facility the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies meeting the criteria set out on the Bank of England website

  • HMRC time to pay scheme.

All businesses and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support through the time to pay arrangement by calling HMRC’s dedicated help line on 0800 0159 559.

More detail is available at

Guidance for Employees

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP);

SSP will be available from the first day an employees is unable to work due to sickness or isolation as a result of COVD-19.;

  • Universal Credit;

Universal credit is to be increased for one year with access being made easier as long as the eligibility criteria are met. Support for rental costs will also be paid via universal credit.

More detail is available at

  • We will keep you updated regarding these reliefs as more information becomes available.

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