Coronavirus: Made in Group calls for urgent government clarification and scrapping of National Insurance for 6-months

The Made in Group is today calling for urgent government clarification concerning the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme as confusion, and a lack of accessibility of funds impacts the manufacturing sector. 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that “We must do whatever it takes to support the economy.” Adding, “This is a time to be bold, to have courage. We will support jobs, we will support incomes, we will support businesses… We will do whatever it takes,” 

Despite this, members of the Made in Group have commented on a member-wide survey where they’ve said that they are feeling ‘uncertain’ and ‘confused’ around the accessibility of the Business Interruption Loan scheme.

Members have commented that they’re unable to apply for the loans due to uncertainty on a range of topics from eligibility, to qualifications. The group which represents over £150 Billion of GDP raised issues including:

  • What are the parameters of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, including the specific terms and conditions of the loan?
  • How should/can companies apply for the loans if Directors or other key personnel are either working from home or self-isolated, thus not having access to the documentation needed to apply for the funds.
  • How quickly will the turnaround be from applying for a Business Interruption Loan to receiving the credit in the bank?
  • On the report of banks currently not accepting applications, when will companies be able to start applying for the Business Interruption Loan?

While the Made in Group is urgently lobbying the UK Government to provide further details about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the group also:

  • Urgently wants an answer to the question why the manufacturing sector is still being excluded from the temporary abolishment of Business Rates, especially since retail was added to the band of covered businesses.  
  • Provide an immediately cut National Insurance (NI) contribution rates to 0% for the next 6-months.

Speaking about this call to action, CEO and founder of the Made in Group, Jason Pitt, said, “Today, we’re urging the government to inject certainty into the economy so that businesses can start to plan and avoid panic.

While the Made in Group welcomes some of the support suggested, there are more immediate ways that the government can help incentivise companies not to make redundancies.

By making the employer National Insurance contribution rate 0% for the next 6-months, until September 2020, the government will protect itself from future falls in revenue while immediately helpings companies without the complexities of administering the funds.”

The group is currently running a member-wide survey, and other elements, the survey has also highlighted:

  • 82.1% of members reported that they don’t believe that they’ve got enough support from the government to be prepared for the outbreak.
  • 80% of members are calling for the year-long abolishment of Business Rates to be extended to the manufacturing sector.
  • 83% of members called for the Government’s Business Interruption Loan scheme to be extended to the manufacturing sector.

The survey is currently open to all Made in Group members and will be running until 5:00 pm on Friday, the 20th of March 2020.