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Coronavirus: Disease Control

Question for Treasury

UIN HL12918, tabled on 2 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total cost to HM Treasury of providing COVID-19 financial support to those who are ineligible for such support.

Answered on

16 February 2021

Throughout this crisis, the government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods while also supporting businesses and public services across the UK. To do this, the government has put in place an economic package of support worth over £280 billion this year. These support measures are carefully designed to complement each other to ensure we protect jobs and livelihoods. All our support is targeted to make sure public funds are used responsibly, helping those who need it most as quickly as possible, while minimising fraud risk.

Individuals have benefited from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the temporarily increased generosity of the welfare system. On the SEISS eligibility, the scheme is designed to target those who need it most, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income. Around 95 per cent of self-employed people who receive more than half of their income from their self-employment are eligible.

Businesses have benefited from a range of grants, loans and tax reliefs. In January, the Chancellor announced £4.6 billion of further support for the most affected businesses. This includes an additional £500 million, to a total of £1.6 billion, of discretionary funding for local authorities to support their local businesses, known as the Additional Restrictions Grant. As part of the new support package, the Chancellor also confirmed that a further £734 million of additional funding will be provided to devolved administrations to reflect the further increases in support in England.

We must recognise that it will not be possible to preserve every job or business indefinitely or stand in the way of the economy adapting and people finding new jobs or starting new businesses.

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