Closed petition Coronavirus Support Package for Directors / Shareholders of small Limited Co's.

Provide a COVID-19 Support Package in line with that offered to the Employed and Self-Employed.

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There are many owner managed businesses in the UK who own and operate under a Limited Company who have lost all their income like the employed and self-employed who have already been advised they will receive a support package.

Please make sure that they are looked after in line with the other taxpayers.

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Government responded

This response was given on 5 June 2020

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support for those adversely affected by Covid-19, including support available to owner-managers operating under a Limited Company.

Read the response in full

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is available to employers and individuals, including owner-managers operating under a limited company, who pay themselves a salary through a PAYE scheme. Employers can use a portal to claim for 80 per cent of the usual monthly wage costs of furloughed employees (employees on a leave of absence) up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions for that wage. This means owner-managers can furlough themselves and claim for 80 per cent of their usual monthly PAYE wage costs, up to £2,500 a month. More details about the CJRS are available at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Dividends are not covered by the CJRS. Income from dividends is a return on investment in the company, rather than wages; under current reporting mechanisms it is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources, and between dividends in lieu of employment income and as returns from other corporate activity.

HMRC designed the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) using information they already had, in order to make it deliverable quickly and to minimise the risk of fraud. Expanding the scope would have required HMRC to collect and verify new information. This would have taken longer to deliver and put at risk the other schemes which the Government committed to delivering in a timely way.

Finally, these schemes supplement the other significant support the Government has announced. Individuals can benefit from the Government’s relaxation of the earnings rules (known as the Minimum Income Floor) in Universal Credit. Further support for UK businesses includes the Bounce Back Loans Scheme for small businesses, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19

HM Treasury

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/310515)

Other parliamentary business

Petitions Committee requests a further revised response from the Government

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) has requested a further revised response to this petition, following some queries about the current response.

When the Committee receives the new response from the Government, this will be published on the website and you will receive an email. If you would not like to receive further updates about this petition, you can unsubscribe below.

Original Government response

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of measures to support public services, workers and businesses through Coronavirus, many of which are specifically aimed at small companies.

The Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades, and the Government recognises the extreme disruption it is having on people’s lives, their businesses, their jobs and the nation’s economy.

That is why we have announced unprecedented support for public services, workers and businesses to protect against the current economic emergency, including measures specifically for small companies, such as:

The new 100% backed loan scheme for small businesses. Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government guarantee. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for borrowers for the first 12 months, after which interest will be fixed at a low rate. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

The Small Business Grant Scheme. Through this scheme, the Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 per property in receipt of reliefs, to help meet their ongoing business costs. In addition, the Government is granting small businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors a higher grant of £25,000 per property, for each property that has a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The Government provides lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give them further confidence in continuing to provide finance to viable SMEs. The government will not charge businesses for this guarantee and will also cover the interest costs and fees for the first 12 months.

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate. This will allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because they have been ill with Covid-19 or have had to self-isolate because of it. The Government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP.

In addition, the Government has put in place schemes to maintain the links between employees and companies, and support living standards, alongside other changes to the welfare system.

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will provide grants to eligible self-employed people, or members of partnerships, worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. It is based on income from self-employment or a share in a partnership as reported on a UK income tax self-assessment return. Whilst the government understands that some business owners choose to pay themselves in the form of dividends, under current reporting mechanisms it is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources. HMRC are designing SEISS to require almost no new information from the customer, in order to make it deliverable by early June. Expanding the scope would require HMRC to collect and verify new information which would take longer to deliver and put at risk the other schemes which the government is committed to delivering as quickly as possible.

However, those who have incorporated, and receive income from the company as an employee, may benefit from the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme by furloughing themselves from their roles as employee and director of their own company in addition to the other forms of support for small businesses note above. This means that company owner-managers may be eligible for a grant of 80% of the salary they have paid themselves.

HM Treasury

This response was given on 28 April 2020. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

Petitions Committee publishes correspondence with HM Treasury about Government response

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) has published an exchange of correspondence with HM Treasury about their revised response to this petition.

The Committee requested a response to some queries that had been raised in response to the publication of the Government's response, and HM Treasury has responded to these and set out why it feels the response to the petition already
provided stands.

You can read the Committee's request for further information, and HM Treasury's response, here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/1888/documents/18558/default/

MPs investigate the economic impact of coronavirus

A group of MPs called the Treasury Committee is investigating the economic impact of coronavirus, including looking at support for businesses, employees and self-employed people.

The Committee launched the first stage of its inquiry on 18 March to look at the speed, effectiveness and reach of the Government’s and Bank of England’s immediate financial response to coronavirus.

During this stage, the Committee pushed the Government on the lack of support for the self-employed, on lenders requesting personal guarantees on business interruption loans, and on the issue of large firms struggling to get support, including in order to retain their employees.

On 24 April the Committee launched the next stage of its inquiry, in which it will examine the effectiveness, cost and sustainability of the Government’s and Bank of England’s support packages. The Committee will also examine the impact on the economy and different sectors, the implications for public finances, and how the Government can work towards a sustained recovery.

You can find out about the inquiry, including how to submit your views and details of meetings the Committee is holding, here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/224/economic-impact-of-coronavirus/

The Treasury Committee is a cross-party group of MPs and is independent of the Government. The Committee looks at and questions the Government about matters relating to the spending of public money and economic policy.

You can find out more about the Treasury Committee on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee

You can follow the Treasury Committee on Twitter: @CommonsTreasury

The Treasury Committee is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Has coronavirus affected your business in Wales?

A group of MPs called the Welsh Affairs Committee is looking into the impact of coronavirus on the Welsh economy, and would like to hear your views.

If your business in Wales has been affected by coronavirus, complete this survey to tell the Welsh Affairs Committee how the coronavirus outbreak has affected you: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nt3mHDeziEC-Xo277ASzSsdf6aRbb_hHi61kcnJ3-KJUNEpKUVQ3ODkxU0tTQUdVV05ZMFhYRFozRy4u

The survey should only take 10 minutes to complete, and closes at 5pm on 15 May.

The Welsh Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of MPs and is independent of the Government. The Committee looks at and questions the Government about matters that have an impact on Wales.

You can find out more about the Welsh Affairs Committee on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/162/welsh-affairs-committee/

You can follow the Welsh Affairs Committee on Twitter: @CommonsWelshAff

The Welsh Affairs Committee is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Further Information

You may also be interested to know that because of the large number of petitions that have been started in relation to coronavirus, the Petitions Committee has been questioning the Government about its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out more and watch the Committee put questions suggested by petitioners to Government Ministers and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/news/145767/committee-question-deputy-chief-medical-officer-and-ministers-on-coronavirus-response/

Read letters from the Committee asking further questions of Government Ministers: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/192/the-governments-response-to-coronavirus/publications/

Visit our website to find news and information on other activity in relation to coronavirus and other issues: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/

You can read impartial analysis of the Government response to coronavirus and policy developments here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/coronavirus/

Petitions Committee requests a revised response from the Government

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) have considered the Government’s response to this petition. They felt that the response did not directly address the request of petition and have therefore written back to the Government to ask them to provide a revised response.

When the Committee have received a revised response from the Government, this will be published on the website and you will receive an email. If you would not like to receive further updates about this petition, you can unsubscribe below.

MPs publish report on gaps in the Government's coronavirus support

A group of MPs called the Treasury Committee has published a report on the UK Government’s coronavirus support packages, following an inquiry into the economic impact of coronavirus. The report expresses concerns about support for different groups of people, including:

• Those newly in employment or newly self-employed
• Those self-employed with annual trading profits in excess of £50,000
• Directors of limited companies
• Freelancers and those on short-term contracts

The report says the Government needs to do something for these people if it is to completely fulfil its promise of protecting incomes and jobs, and sets out a number of actions it wants the Government to take to support the above groups. The Government has two months to respond to the Committee’s report.

You can read a summary of the report here: https://houseofcommons.shorthandstories.com/coronavirus-economic-impact-gaps-in-support-report

You can find out about the Committee’s inquiry into the economic impact of coronavirus here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/224/economic-impact-of-coronavirus

The Treasury Committee is a cross-party group of MPs and is independent of the Government. The Committee looks at and questions the Government about matters relating to the spending of public money and economic policy.

You can find out more about the Treasury Committee on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee

You can follow the Treasury Committee on Twitter: @CommonsTreasury

The Treasury Committee is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

MPs to debate Government spending on Covid-19 support for employees and the self-employed

On Tuesday 7 July MPs will debate the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and support for the self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
The debate should start at around 4pm, although the exact start time will depend on other business, and you can watch the debate live here: https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/51b7cb07-c3d5-4e95-b272-4732c0e9f5b9

A transcript will be published the following day here: https://hansard.parliament.uk

The debate has been requested by the Chair of the Treasury Committee, which recently published a report on the economic impact of coronavirus, and gaps in support: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/1446/documents/13238/default/

This debate is being held as part of several Estimates Day debates, where MPs debate and agree the Government’s spending plans. You can find out more about Estimates Day debates and the subjects that are being debated here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/202/backbench-business-committee/news/147093/backbench-business-committee-confirms-topics-for-estimates-day-debates/