The government has today announced that it will extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) by an extra month, until the end of April 2021. The Chancellor had previously planned to review the so-called ‘furlough scheme’ next month, but has decided instead to bring forward the decision. The scheme will support businesses at the same level as currently, with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages.
The various government-guaranteed business loan schemes – including the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme – have also been extended, until the end of March 2021.
In addition, it has been announced that the next Budget will be held on 3 March 2021. We expect the Chancellor to use this opportunity to outline the next phase of Coronavirus support measures beyond April – and to start the process of raising taxes to pay for all of these initiatives.