Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has welcomed the announcement from the Chancellor which provides a £400 million Barnett guarantee uplift for the Executive and confirmation the Furlough scheme will be extended until March 2021 and the self-employed scheme up to April 2021.
Responding to the announcement, Conor Murphy said: “I welcome this £400 million uplift which will be used to support our response to Covid-19.
“I have repeatedly called for the extension of furlough and support for the self-employed. Today’s announcement will provide businesses and workers with much needed certainty as they plan for the difficult weeks and months ahead.”
This means that furloughed employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, for the next five months. Initially, employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked, with employer contributions to be reviewed in January.
The self-employed will now receive 80% of average trading profit for November, December and January through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme with a further grant to follow covering February to April.
Conor Murphy said: “While I welcome today’s announcement it’s regrettable these calls have not been answered sooner and this extension has only come when further stringent restrictions were imposed in England.
“I call on the British Government, going forward to provide certainty much earlier in respect of support schemes like this which are a vital lifeline for businesses and employees.”