// Chancellor set to reveal new plan to help businesses affected by Tier 2 restrictions
// Currently businesses in Tier 2 do not benefit from the same government aid as those in Tier 3
// Some of the Tier 3 support includes business grants & higher wage subsidies
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a new support package for retailers and other businesses affected by Tier 2 restrictions, according to reports.
Sunak is set to unveil a new plan to help businesses that have seen their trade drop as a result of the social restrictions in the “high” Covid-19 category.
Currently businesses in Tier 2 areas such as London and Birmingham do not benefit from the same government aid as those in Tier 3, including business grants and higher wage subsidies, because they can remain open.
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Sunak is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons this morning and The Telegraph reported he will unveil financial measures to help Tier 2-affected businesses, after complaints from industry leaders and MPs that thousands of jobs were at risk ahead of Christmas.
“The Chancellor is due to update the House of Commons on the economic situation, in particular, and so far as it relates to the new restrictions,” Sunak’s spokesperson said.
“And, what we have always said is that our package of support is always flexible and always up for review to make sure that it is dealing with the situation as it evolves.”
In Tier 3, social mixing is banned both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars must close unless they can operate as a restaurant.
For businesses in this band that are unable to legally operate due to Covid-19 restrictions, the government will pay employees 66 per cent of their wage, with the employer still contributing to pensions and National Insurance.
Meanwhile, businesses in Tier 2 can only claim on a scheme where employers have to pay around 55 per cent of staff wages with a smaller subsidy from government, while still being subject to bans on household mixing indoors.
Wednesday saw the UK report its highest daily rise in lab-confirmed coronavirus cases since the outbreak began.
The government announced a further 26,688 lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK, taking the total number to 789,229, a jump of more than 5000 on the 21,330 positive cases confirmed on Tuesday.
A further 191 people died within 28 days of a positive test, meaning the death toll reached 44,158.
with PA Wires