Fire-Break Lockdown

Short Fire-Break Lockdown

Today the First Minister of Wales finally confirmed the worst kept secret ever.  From 6pm Friday 23rd October until Monday 9th November Wales will be in a short-term Fire-Break Lockdown. (Quite how this differs from a short- term circuit breaker  lockdown is unclear). However in Wales we’re all required to stay at home if possible, although schools will stay open. 

  • Everyone  in Wales must stay at home with only limited exemptions for exercise and travelling to work where absolutely necessary
  • All non-essential shops will be shut and cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants except for take-away or delivery services
  • Close contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians, leisure businesses, tourism firms, community centres, libraries and recycling centres will also be closed
  • Local parks, playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain open
  • Primary schools and special schools will reopen for the second week of the firebreak, after the half-term break. Secondary schools will reopen only for Year 7 and 8, but students taking exams will still be allowed to attend
  • Childcare facilities will also stay open
  • All household mixing is banned indoors and outdoors, but single adult households and single parents are allowed to form a support bubble with another household
  • Gatherings are banned, with only small-scale Remembrance Sunday events exempt
  • Places of worship will be closed except for funerals and weddings
  • University teaching will continue but students will have to stay in their residences.

If you haven’t applied for the second phase of the economic resilience fund it closes at 12pm tonight. It’s worth up to £6570 made up of 70% of 3 months average monthly trading profits capped at £2190 per month. You need to have been adversely affected by covid on or after 14th July 2020. 
Check your eligibility now

End of Furlough 31st October & the New Job Support Scheme

We still do not have details of how the new scheme is to work in practice – as soon as we do we will let you know.

New Job Support Scheme

The Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses during lower demand over the winter due to Covid-19

  •  keeps their employees attached to the workforce.
  • The scheme will open on 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months.
  • The company to pay employee for time worked, 
  • the cost of hours not worked will be split between
    • the employer,
    • the Government (through wage support) 
    • the employee (through a wage reduction)
  • The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third.
  • This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages, where the Government contribution has not been capped.

Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Extended Job Support Scheme

For businesses legally forced to close employees will  get 2/3 of their pay, whilst employers pay NI and Pension contributions. Further details to follow when available.

£300m Extra Support

The Welsh government announced an extra support package

  • an extra £150 million into phase three of the ERF to support to businesses affected by the firebreak
  • every operating business covered by the small business rates relief scheme will automatically receive a £1,000 grant payment
  • retail, leisure and hospitality businesses which have to close and occupy premises with a rateable value below £50,000 will receive a one-off grant payment of up to £5,000
  • there will also be additional discretionary grants and support for smaller businesses which are struggling
Extra Economic Resilience Fund
  • Automatic payment of £1,000 to all that receive small business rates 
  • Automatic payment of  Up to £5k for SME’s in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector 
  • Discretionary grant over other potential smaller grants for businesses struggling
Existing Economic Resilience Fund – Phase 3
  • Increased to £100m and increased ringfenced amount for tourism & hospitality to £20m
  • Will allocate the funds urgently
Staff funding
  • The CVJS
  • Job support scheme
  • Forced to close – extended job support scheme

Click Here for further details and to use the eligibility checker

The £140m Funding package already in place is to be split:
  • £80 million to support business transition to tomorrows economy
    • £20m of this will be ringfenced for tourism and hospitality
    • The remaining £60m allocated to support businesses impacted by local lockdown
  • The balance of the £140m to be allocated flexibly e.g. increased lending through The Development Bank of Wales
The Fund is open to
  • Micro businesses (employing between 1 and 9 people) can apply for up to £10,000 if they match this with their own investment of at least 10%.
  • SMEs (employing between 10 and 249 people) can apply for up to £150,000 if they match this with their own investment of at least 10% for small business (1 to 49 staff) and 20% for medium sized (50 to 249) business.
  • Large businesses (employing 250+ people) can apply for up to £200,000 if they match this with their own investment of at least 50%.

For More Details Click Here


BEWARE – State Aid Maximum Limit – don’t get caught out!

The current state aid maximum level of e200,000 of government funding over a 3 year period, has been increased to e800,000 under a temporary Covid-19 framework ( if certain conditions are met). However this limit includes a range of other grants and support such as Research and Development or Capital Allowance Claims. So please keep track of the total support your are claiming!!

If you would like to discuss further, please call your client manager.  


Tax Due

Personal Tax

Self-assessment taxpayers have been given even longer to pay all the taxes due by 31 January 2021 made up of:

  • 2019/2020 Second payment on account due 31 July 2020
  • 2019/2020 Balancing payment
  • 2019/2020 Capital Gains tax
  • 2020/2021 First payment on account

If your total tax due does not exceed £30,000, you can request for this to be spread over 12 monthly instalments ending on 31 January 2022.  As such, this will automatically be agreed by HMRC, and no interest or penalties will be charged during this period.

If the total tax due exceeds £30,000, you will need to agree a bespoke payment plan with HMRC which could include a longer time to pay arrangement.

Deferred VAT Payment

If you deferred VAT payments due between 20th March and 30th June 2020  you will now have the option to pay in interest free installments.
Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

You need to opt-in to the scheme so that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 don’t need to be  fully paid until the end of March 2022.
Those that can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021.


Protecting You and Us During Fire-Break Lockdown

With a Fire-Break lockdown across Wales, we’re sadly closing our doors to clients from Friday. 

  • Some of our team may go into the office sporadically if necessary, however we will still be available remotely.
  • We will be continuing to hold virtual meetings for the foreseeable future. These proved very successful during lock-down.
  • For the time being we ask that you avoid coming to our offices
  • To limit unnecessary journeys for you and potential cross infection, we also ask you to send  your records electronically . Please give us ring if you need any help with this.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Stay Safe Stay Healthy

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