After cancelling his much-expected autumn budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week instead outlined the UK government’s plans to try and protect jobs with the threat of a second lockdown looming.

Addressing MPs at the House of Commons, Mr Sunak unveiled his ‘Winter Economy Plan’ which includes a new Jobs Support Scheme for specific industries, an extension to the cut in VAT for some sectors and further support for effected businesses and workers.

Responding to the announcement, our very own Steven Mason, insolvency practitioner and senior manager described the plan ultimately as “a pragmatic one”.

Although the announcement received some mixed reactions from businesses across the country, Steven believes that the Chancellor’s interventions overall should be cautiously welcomed but issued the following warning.

“The cost of the Chancellor’s new plan will run into billions, but there was no mention of the eventual cost. This must ultimately be met by businesses in the form of new taxes and tax relief cuts.

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“On balance, the plan offers hope to thousands of firms, providing a ray of light that allows them to fight another day.

“Its targeted approach at viable sectors shows ‘an important evolution’ in the government’s intervention, as the Chancellor seeks to partially reduce the involvement of the state. The outlook for those in troubled sectors such as hospitality and leisure must still be in doubt.

“Ultimately, the success of the plan will only be judged, at the end of the pandemic, when a bruised nation must face up to the real cost that COVID-19 has had on its physical, emotional and financial health.”

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