Watch the webinar
- Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director, CBI
- Annie Gascoyne, Director of Economic Policy, CBI
- Liz Moseley, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media (Chair)
- The challenging backdrop of rising infection rates and diminishing hospital capacity is having a really human impact, particularly on mental health and the economic implications from ongoing restrictions
- On business support – it’s important that the government acts before the March budget – cash flow is critical in this moment
- On testing – there’s been a big increase in asymptomatic testing in the community and workplaces. this will be big help for those workers who are unable to work from home. BEIS is keen to work with employers. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- On vaccines – a detailed roll out strategy has been published and the government are now publishing daily figures online. Matt Hancock has said that by autumn he hopes all adults will have been offered the vaccine
- On further restrictions – these were expected but they need to be backed by evidence and come with appropriate economic support for affected firms
- On concerns around accuracy of lateral-flow tests – picking up some cases rather than none at all is still an improvement, so they do have a role to play
- On vaccine passports – there are high levels of confidence that the vaccine prevents transmission but we’re still waiting on the evidence.
- Business support is an evolving situation so it’s always worth keeping an eye on announcements, including the CBI’s coronavirus hub
- Two key milestones to look out for:
- Mid-March: the Job Retention Scheme is due to end in April, but firms will start redundancy consultations in mid-March if applicable
- End of March: this will see closing of loan schemes, business rates relief end, and VAT cuts and deferrals will come to an end as well.
- In May, repayments start on the access to finance schemes. This will be a spike in liabilities for those firms who took out these loans
- There are increased concerns regarding cash-flow from firms, and the Bank of England’s credit survey expects defaults of payments to rise strongly in the next quarter – particularly impacting the manufacturing and services sectors
- The CBI will be publishing its formal submission to the Chancellor on Tuesday 19 January – our headline ask is that firms need support ahead of the March budget
- The furlough scheme is available for staff on each company’s PAYE system, so if you are self-employed then you can access the self-employed income support scheme.