A YORK MP is concerned that the emergency economic measures announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday are "too little, too late" to save many York businesses and jobs.

With 22 per cent of York workers still on furlough, and so many York businesses operating in the hard-hit retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, York Central MP Rachael Maskell said she has been calling for targeted and flexible package of measures to help the most affected sectors.

Whilst Ms Maskell recognises yesterday's announcement will go some way to help some businesses, she is "very concerned" they are not nearly enough for businesses that due to the ongoing public health crisis are unable to return to anywhere near full trading. 

Further, she is concerned the statement provides "no new protection for the charitable sector or for local authorities" who are playing a vital role in supporting communities through this crisis.

The MP also notes that the 3.1 million people who were "excluded" from the initial Government support packages are still left with "absolutely no support."

Ms Maskell said: "The Chancellor has come very late to the table to extend relief for businesses, and as we are seeing many companies in York have started laying people off. The Shadow Chancellor has asked for economic security 40 times and on each of the occasions he replied, was told ‘no’, this was 20 times.

“It’s clear that this support will assist some struggling businesses in York, but by no means all. York has a particularly high concentration of otherwise successful travel, leisure and hospitality companies that have been stopped in their tracks by this crisis.

“These businesses not only provide vital jobs and services, they also support a huge network of other companies and play a vital role in drawing people to the city. The Government urgently needs to recognise their value and provide the support necessary play a huge role in drawing people to the city. Today’s announcement is far too little, far too late for too many of them.

“This is why I am continuing to call for further targeted support for these viable businesses and organisations who for no fault of their own are still struggling. This includes charities who cannot trade or fundraise sufficiently to qualify for the Job Support Scheme."

The Chancellor announced that a Jobs Support Scheme will replace the furlough scheme from November to subsidise wages for six months of people forced to cut their hours.

Businesses will be able to keep staff on shorter hours, rather than making them redundant.

The Government will top up the wages of people working at least a third of their normal hours.

They will be paid for that work as normal, with the state and employers increasing those wages to cover two-thirds of the pay they have lost by working reduced hours.

This is aimed at small and medium-sized firms, and only for big companies if turnover has fallen by a third.

Sunak also extended the self-employment income support scheme and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.

Companies now have 10 years to repay loans, rather than six, almost halving repayments.

Interest-only payments can be made, while struggling firms can suspend payouts.

The chancellor will allow businesses to spread their VAT bills over 11 separate payments.