“We are in the midst of a health earthquake, but the worry is that we will see a possibly even more devastating financial aftershock,” the money-saving expert wrote in the latest edition of his newsletter. weekly.
His gloomy mood continued: “With rapid economic decline and unemployment levels likely to rise even higher than in the early 1980s, there are enormous challenges for individuals and for society.”
In this week’s newsletter, the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com offers advice on the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) ‘bizarre’ rule, the end of toll-free credit card balance transfers, and fully flexible part-time leave plan coming in July.
10 new financial needs linked to the coronavirus
1. Weird new rule for granting second self-employment
It is now only for businesses affected by Covid-19 on or after July 14.
Directions will be announced on Friday June 19 for the second grant due in August. Martin and his MoneySavingExpert.com team noted in early guidance notes that: “You will need to confirm that your business was affected on or after July 14, 2020. “
The second SEISS The grant gives self-employed workers 70 percent of their average monthly business profits, paid in a single installment covering an additional three months of profits – capped at £ 6,570 in total.
Martin wrote: “Unfortunately for a lot of those excluded from the first grant, this has the same eligibility criteria, so if you weren’t eligible for this, you are not eligible for it.
“As the government’s own press release of March 26 said: ‘The income support program … will cover the three months up to May,’ that is, March, April and May. Logic (and basic counting) therefore suggests that the second 3-month grant covers the months of June, July, and August.
“So it’s very strange to read the new rule that says you have to report that your business was affected after mid-July, and unfair to businesses that were heavily affected in June and recovered by then.”
The financial reporter said he spoke to HMRC and “apparently the grants are not [now?] relate to a specific period of three months, these are only grants [though based on three months of trading profits]. “
The rules of the SEISS grant are simple – the first grant is intended for those whose “activity was impacted by the Covid-19 before July 13” and the second, which takes place in August, for those “impacted by the Covid-19 on or after July 14 “- if you’ve been impacted before and after these dates, you must both.
Martin added, “So the new rules are clear, or ar. But the implication and the message it sends is as clear as mud. If, as the government has announced, the first “3-month” grant covered the months of March, April and May, but also now sort of June and half-July, what does the second “3-month” grant cover? “
There is no closing date for applications yet, but some companies that have been doing well through September may be able to claim at that time.
What counts as being impacted by Covid-19?
Martin says these are obvious things such as:
- you or your staff could not work because of this
- you cannot access your usual place of work
- your income has been negatively impacted
And it’s simple – either there was an impact, however small, in which case you owe the entire grant, or there isn’t.
If you didn’t apply for the first grant because you were worried, but now realize you’re eligible, use the HMRC Eligibility Checker here and remember you can make a claim if you are still working.
2. Do you have credit card debt? 0% free balance transfers are gone
The balance transfer market has been everywhere during the pandemic. The latest trend is the disappearance of free offers.
Martin spotted that the only “decent that remains open to all” is Santander 18 month 0% free card.
What is a balance transfer?
This is when you get a new card that pays off the old cards for you – so you owe the new card instead, but at 0% interest. This means that all of your repayments erase the real debt.
If you can pay off the card within 18 months, it’s free because there’s no charge.
Complete information on credit card balance transfers can be found here.
3. Part-time leave will be totally flexible
Last week, the Treasury released its detailed guidance for the new ‘leave and work’ option, from July 1st. This means that people no longer need to be on leave full time.
UK government guidelines state: “Employers may return employees on leave to work for any length of time and any pattern of work.”
Which means that someone who normally works 40 hours could be brought down for 39 hours one week and get paid time off for the rest, then 5 hours the following week. find out more about flexible leave here.
4. What is the best new travel insurance?
“Many of you are asking insurance for a future trip – it’s tricky right now, so we’re still researching, ”Martin wrote and said he hoped the The MoneySavingExpert.com team would be able to find something reasonable for next week.
5. Return something purchased before containment?
Many retailers have generously extended their refund policies, so you didn’t miss a thing while they were closed. However, most retailers restart the clock from their reopening dates, for example with John Lewis you have 35 days from that store reopens to return.
Although most Scottish stores are not yet open, this is a point to keep in mind and be prepared to return any unwanted items as soon as they do.
6. Are you one of the 3 million people excluded from assistance?
When the Chancellor first launched the financial support for the coronavirus programs, they have been rightly praised for protecting the jobs and incomes of millions of people.
At the time, Martin said in an interview: “I would give it an A rating, but what really matters is how they help those who have fallen through the cracks.”
But now he says “these cracks are cracks” and warns that many are unassisted, including those who have changed jobs, started a business in the past 18 months, are freelance PAYE, are managers of limited companies, work for agencies, protect, or just had employers who didn’t care.
Martin wrote: “If you are one of the 3 million people in this situation, even though you can hope for the best, I suggest you plan for the worst as well. “
7. On maternity or paternity leave? You can be put on leave when you return
If your parental leave started before June 10 and ends between June 11 and October 31, your employer can still put you on leave if:
Your employer put another staff member on leave before June 30
You were on your employer’s payroll (i.e. real-time information was submitted) by March 19
Complete information and links to government guidelines can be found here.
8. Holiday Extras to give numerous cancellation refunds
British holiday companies Hoseasons and Cottages.com changed their minds on refunds last week. Now airport parking Holiday supplements, which previously offered only vouchers, has confirmed it will offer refunds on many parking bookings, hotel stays and other add-ons that customers have canceled due to coronavirus.
9. Child or going to university and your income has fallen?
Request that their loan be based on that year’s income.
The amount of the maintenance loan that students receive, which covers living expenses, is means-tested according to household income, as detailed in their application.
In Scotland it’s a mixture of scholarship, loan and implicit parental contribution – higher income means less scholarship and more loan and parental contribution.
Funding for the next academic year is based on the 2018/19 tax year. Clearly millions of people have experienced substantial income declines since then – if your income is at least 15% lower this tax year, ask for a “current year income assessment” instead.
For more information, see MoneySavingExpert.com coronavirus and student guide here.
10. Driving license with photo expiring?
You can now get an additional seven months to renew. This applies if your photo card expires before August 31, 2020. Learn more about driving license extension here.
MoneysSavingExpert.com has also created in-depth guides that are regularly updated and worth checking out, including:
Aid schemes based on financial products
If you need to take a payment holiday and you haven’t done so yet, there is still time – here are the latest application dates:
Until July 9 : Credit and store cards, personal loans, and catalog debt
Until July 27: Auto Finance (PCP, Lease, HP), Pawn Shop, Buy It Now & Late Payment & Lease with Option to Buy, Payday Loans (Interest & Holidays)
Until August 18: Insurance, for example, car, house, loan repayments
Until October 20: Individual voluntary arrangements
Until October 31: Mortgage payment holidays
You can subscribe to Martin Lewis’ weekly newsletter here.
The ITV Martin Lewis Money Show LIVE (from home) airs on STV Thursday at 8:30 p.m.