COVID – 19 Update 4

Free parking for NHS and social care staff


The government will cover the costs of providing free car parking to NHS staff working in hospitals during this unprecedented time, the Health Secretary has pledged today.

It comes as the Local Government Secretary has agreed local councils will also offer free car parking to all NHS workers and social care staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

In the face of this global pandemic, it is essential NHS and social care staff are able to carry out their vital work without worrying about paying for car parking. Government is rightly committing to providing the financial backing NHS Trusts need to make this a reality in hospitals for the duration of this viral outbreak.


HMRC Tax Helpline


HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus to get practical help and advice. Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to support businesses and individuals when needed.

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

For those who are unable to pay due to coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

The helpline number is 0800 024 1222 – and is an addition to other HMRC phone contact numbers.

Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. The helpline will not be available on Bank Holidays.


Student loan (Plan 1) interest rates dropping 


From the 7 April 2020, the interest rate applied to all Plan 1 started in 2012) Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) student loans will reduce from 1.75% to 1.1%.

The Department for Education has confirmed the change following the decrease to the Bank of England base interest rate from 0.25% to 0.1% on 19 March 2020.

Plan 1 borrowers will continue to repay 9% of their earnings over the repayment threshold. The repayment threshold for Plan 1 ICR loans remains at £18,935 (increasing to £19,390 on 6 April 2020).

For more information on repaying your loan visit: Repaying your student loan



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