The Government will offer businesses tax concession if coronavirus causes cash-flow problems
By James Young | 3rd March 2020
Businesses will be given help with short-term cash-flow problems caused by coronavirus according to an action plan published by the UK Government.
The 28-page plan outlines the special advice and preparations being made for a possible Covid-19 Pandemic.
The four-phase plan seeks to Contain: Delay: Research: Mitigate against the impact of the illness, which has so far seen around 40 cases in the UK.
Prime minister Boris Johnson spoke at 10 Downing Street this morning to outline the steps that can and will be taken.
While current energies are being poured into containing, delaying and researching the outbreak on the British Isles, preparations are well-advanced for a worst-case scenario.
That would see as many as one in five workers fall ill and have to be away from work in self-isolation.
That would lead to knock-ons such as the Police only being able to "concentrate on responding to serious crimes and maintaining public order" due to lower staffing numbers.
The report also makes certain contingencies for businesses.
It states: "For businesses facing short term cash flow issues (for example, as the result of subdued demand), an effective mitigation already exists in HMRC's Time To Pay system.
"This is offered on a case by case basis if a firm or individual contacts HMRC about falling behind on their tax."
It adds: "Everyone will face increased pressures at work, as well as potentially their own personal illness or caring responsibilities.
"Supporting staff welfare will be critical to supporting an extended response."
A further report offering guidance to employers and businesses has been published by Public Health England and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and can be read here.
The action plan concludes by stating: "The UK remains in a high state of readiness to respond robustly to any disease outbreak, and our track record of success means that we can offer a high degree of assurance that we will be able to maximise the effectiveness of our health and care systems, and in doing so also respond effectively to the outbreak."
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