Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of support for jobs in response to Covid-19, Jonathan Geldart, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“This was a hugely significant step forward for employers.
“Relying mainly on loans wasn’t going to be enough, as many business leaders balked at the prospect of taking on more risk. Grants to support employment will be a much more welcome approach for firms stuck between cutting costs and retaining staff, but the acid test of these policies is how fast they reach businesses.
“The perilous position of the self-employed can’t be ignored. While steps to ease the tax burden will provide relief, there are many entrepreneurial people out there who had good businesses last month, but for whom demand has now completely disappeared.
“However, the scale of the new measures can’t be downplayed, and the deferral of VAT is another substantial move. We’ll be getting the message out to directors about the new support, but we’ll also be listening to their response. We know there are still many other areas of concern, including commercial mortgages, rent, late payments and many more. The Government has closed more businesses tonight, but we know this may not be the end of public health response, so Ministers must be ready to act as necessary."