During an announcement to Parliament today, 17 December 2020, the Chancellor confirmed the following:
- An extension of the furlough scheme until the end of April 2021,
- The date for Budget 2021 has been fixed as 3 March 2021, and
- Businesses will have until the end of March 2021 to apply for Government backed, Bounce-Back and other loan schemes.
In a following press release it was confirmed:
The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021, with the Government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages – giving businesses and employees across the UK certainty into the New Year, the Chancellor announced today. The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged and these changes will continue to apply to all Devolved Administrations. Extending the scheme until the end of April means businesses across the country will have certainty about what support will be available to them.
Businesses will also be given until the end of March to access the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. These had been due to close at the end of January.
The Government has already announced that more support will be available beyond March, through a successor loan scheme. More details of the scheme will be announced in due course, with the Government providing a further update on wider Covid-19 economic support at the Budget on 3 March 2021.