Thank you for contacting me about the extension of COVID-19 support schemes.
The CJRS was a temporary, economy-wide measure designed to support businesses while widespread restrictions were in place. I welcomed the several extensions to the CJRS, including the final extension to the end of September, which achieved the right balance between supporting the economy as it opened up, and continuing to provide support and protect incomes. This ensured that incentives were in place to get people back to work as demand returned.
Moreover, since March 2020, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has helped around 2.9 million people, with claims totalling £25.2 billion.
I have spoken with colleagues at the Treasury, who assure me that they are continuing to engage closely across the economy in order to garner real-time data on the recovery of all sectors. I know that these colleagues are prepared to adapt support if the path of the virus changes.
I welcome the wider support that has been put in place to support the labour market. Through the Plan for Jobs, Kickstart is delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment, Restart is providing 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year, and the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) is providing light touch employment support for people who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, for up to 6 months, helping participants effectively re-engage with the labour market and focus their job search.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP