by Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk & Malton
It’s been a very challenging few months. Every single one of us, whatever our age, whether we are employed, self-employed, in education or on the vulnerable list has been affected by the coronavirus crisis. I want to thank each and every one of you for your part in the national effort to beat this vicious disease by staying at home whenever possible and respecting the social distancing rules. As a result the numbers of those contracting the virus is coming down as are, thankfully, the numbers who sadly die. The Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement soon about how we can come out of the lockdown and get back to work.
The government has introduced a range of measures to support the many people who have been hit financially. There has been the Small Business Rates Grant, which is to be extended for some businesses who missed out in the first round through a Discretionary Grants Fund administered by local authorities. It also includes non-repayable grants that can reimburse businesses for up to 80% of the salaries of employees, a similar scheme for the self-employed, HMRC Time to Pay scheme for VAT and PAYE, 3 month payment holidays for residential and buy to let mortgages, easy to access loans, the opportunity to renegotiate lease payments, a 3 month freeze on loans and credit cards payments, a £500 interest free overdraft and the cancellation of increased rates due for larger overdrafts on personal accounts. Just about everyone who needs help has received it through this generous package.
This means that when the crisis is over it will be much easier to reboot the economy. Not every business and every job will be saved but most will have the best possible chance to survive and many thousands of jobs will be preserved. My office has been dealing with hundreds of emails and calls to support those in need of help. I am in regular contact with ministers to feedback your concerns of and I have been able to work with Treasury to make sure that loans can be accessed much more quickly with minimum paperwork. It is likely that the hospitality sector will be the last to come out of lockdown which will have a very damaging impact on the many hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and pubs across the constituency so I will be pushing for further support. If you need my help please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. My door is always open.