CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has unveiled a new set of measures to try and help the UK economy buffer the second wave of coronavirus infections.

The key announcement in his emergency statement to the Commons was the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) which will replace the furlough scheme, which is being wound down from next month.

The JSS will allow staff to be paid by their employer for working at least a third of their usual hours, with the UK Government topping up the remaining two-thirds of their salary that would have otherwise been lost due to working reduced hours.

All small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible for the wage support concept, which starts in November and runs for six months, but larger businesses will have to prove their profits have been hit by the pandemic.

In a tweet, the Treasury said employees working at least 33% of their hours, would receive 77% of their wages. 

Sunak also announced that the current self-employed grant will be renewed on similar terms to the new Jobs Support Scheme.

He also announced a temporary reduction of VAT rates from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors will be extended for a further two months, with a new deadline of March 31 2021.

Business “bounce-back loans” will have a “pay-as-you-grow” element added, giving loanees 10 years rather than six years to repay the money.

The Treasury said this should cut monthly repayments by almost half.

Those struggling to repay their bounce-back loans will be able to choose to make interest-only payments and “anyone in real trouble” will be permitted to suspend repayments all together for up to six months.