“AS part of Government plans to give MPs better access to leading scientific and medical advisors, last week I joined a briefing on the latest coronavirus data and evidence with Professor Jonathan Van Tam.
In our part of the world we’re seeing the number of cases on the rise. The infection rate in Redditch is below the Worcestershire and England average – but this doesn’t mean we can be complacent.
Professor Van Tam was very clear that we are at a critical point in this fight against coronavirus. Let’s continue to follow the rules, as the vast majority of us are here in Redditch and drive down the infection rate so we can live as close to normal as possible.
And as we deal with this crisis, we must also at the same time deal with the impact it is having on our economy.
As the crisis evolves, the Government’s economic response evolves.
The Job Support Scheme was introduced to support the wages of people in work, and the Job Retention Bonus to encourage businesses to bring employees back from furlough.
This is why the Chancellor has expanded the Job Support Scheme to provide temporary, localised support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions. The Government will provide a grant for employees unable to work, covering two-thirds of their usual wages and subject to a cap.
And to support the self-employed, the Government is also providing a grant extension for self-employed small businesses who used the existing scheme.
I very much welcome this support as it will support Redditch businesses should they be forced to close by further restrictions in the future.“