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Targeted Relief for business must remain in place

The Government must ensure that targeted relief for business and the self-employed remains, says David Hough.

The Government’s plan to rebuild, that was published this afternoon, makes it clear that they will need to reduce economic support measures as people return to work.

On the face of it this is quite reasonable as it is simply not sustainable to maintain some of the support measures, at least on their current scale, for a significant period of time. But care needs to be taken to ensure that targeted relief remains available for those who need it.

For example, workers in hospitality and some parts of the retail sector cannot yet return to work and whilst they might be able to generate some earnings by taking on other roles these will not necessarily generate a fair level of income whilst they are unable to return to their normal positions.

Reducing access to the furlough scheme after the current end date of June is appropriate for some businesses but protection needs to be afforded for those who genuinely cannot yet return to work.

There are those, who are expected to return to work if they cannot work from home but who live with vulnerable people, for example an elderly relative or someone with an underlying medical condition.

Circumstances like these are difficult to navigate, but targeted income support for these individuals would allow the existing measures to be tapered down whilst continuing to protect those who most need it.

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