A NEW rescue deal to support jobs in York and help businesses to survive the winter and a second spike of coronavirus has been welcomed.

But York Central MP Rachael Maskell said the measures may be 'too little, too late', and exposed hundreds of workers in York to redundancy.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s measures include cash grants of up to £2,100 a month for firms in Tier 2 areas including York, mostly in hospitality and leisure.

Local authorities will decide how to distribute the grants in response to local circumstances.

“But I am providing enough funding to give every businesses premises in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors a direct grant worth up to £2,100 for every month Tier 2 restrictions apply," he said.

The grants can be backdated to August. The value of grants for the self-employed will also be doubled.

Job Support Scheme changes mean employees will only need to work one day a week to be eligible, and the government will reduce employers’ contributions.

Ms Maskell is urging businesses to pause processing redundancy notices and use the new scheme to salvage jobs.

She is also calling on Sunak to go further and plug the gaps in support, for the charity sector and 'ensure those who have fallen through the gap no longer have to wait five weeks before they receive any social security'.

“As the deadlines for large and small business redundancies have passed, I call on all employers to pause any planned redundancy today, and review all options.

"I call on business who have already responded and made people redundant to see what other options are available to redeploy people.

“Although today’s announcement may help some businesses meet their wage bills, the amount of money going to workers stays the same and in some cases will drop.

"For many low paid workers this will mean facing a long winter, with reduced hours and poverty wages.

“Local authorities will also have a role to play in distributing funding. In the light of their additional funding, I ask that they target support, unlike previously, to help businesses who remain at the brink of collapse."

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning, said the chancellor had been ‘forced to respond’ after dismissing warnings that businesses still open were struggling.

He described the effects of Tier 2 restrictions on customer numbers, as reported by many businesses in York, as 'chilling'.

“The patchwork approach this Government has taken to providing support to businesses has caused considerable confusion and distress to many.

"The council has been using the resources available to retain employment in the city and support businesses across as many sectors as possible.

"Crucially for our city, the hospitality grants are welcome news and we hope these will be universal and government guidance will not tie the hands of local councils once again in eligibility criteria and other demands.

Some companies in supply chains have been missed out previously, and we hope that the resources, when spread over the eligible companies, will be sufficient to keep them running." He said the plans for people to live off 67 per cent of their salary was not enough.

“The Chancellor has now had six times this year to give some much needed relief to those three million self-employed, who have been excluded from all previous support, and initial reports suggest that today will once again see these taxpayers left with no help."

Carolyn Frank, of Federation for Small Businesses North Yorkshire, said: “We welcome the flexibility shown by Rishi Sunak, who continues to adapt his support offer to businesses.

"Undoubtedly, businesses are finding it tough in these sectors and the help is especially welcome in York where so much of the economy relies on hospitality and tourism.

"The expansion of the job support scheme will help to avoid some job losses with the end of furlough. However, there are still many who have been left behind, such as the newly self-employed.

"It is critical that local authorities distribute these funds as swiftly as possible and we are grateful to City of York for their common sense approach to business support which has helped throughout the crisis.”