How to Coronavirus-proof your money

Worried about the financial fallout of the pandemic? Here’s how to Coronavirus-proof your money as best you can by Samantha Downes from The Bad Mum.

Concerns over the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on people’s finances has led the UK’s main financial regulator to ease things for those with credit card debt.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s has suspended credit card persistent debt rules. The UK financial regulator says  concerns over the impact of coronavirus on people’s finances, means it has told banks no one can have their card suspended until October at the earliest.

Anthony Morrow, CEO of OpenMoney, in response to this. “ Those who are only able to make minimum repayments on their credit cards could unsurprisingly be most at risk, and therefore the most vulnerable, if left without credit altogether.

“So it’s reassuring to see the FCA responding, providing credit card users with a much-needed safety net during these uncertain times. We all need to do what we can to limit the financial burden that this crisis has created, and we urge people to stay resourceful with their finances.

Anthony recommends anyone experiencing financial difficult checks whether they are entitled to any benefits. And if you do need to use credit for the short-term he says to make sure you opt for the form with the lowest paying interest and avoid overdrafts.

As always, if you are concerned, we’d recommend contacting the Money Advice Service for guidance.

HMRC has delayed IR35

Other announcements include the HMRC’s decision to suspend reforms to the IRC35 off payroll payment regime until 2021 and three month mortgage payment holidays for those struggling to pay a home loan.

If everyday finances are your concern Faith Archer, financial journalist and blogger at Much More with Less has written a great guide to the 30 cupboard essentials and a guide to help protect your personal finances as the Covid-19 outbreak continues.

The Pensions and Money Advice Service has also set up a Facebook page for those worried about the impact of the coronavirus on their savings.

MoneySavingExpert has also issued some guidance on Coronavirus money and travel need-to-knows. MSE says its guides are being constantly updated on issues such as  the impact of the latest FCO warning on travel plans and how energy firms have moved to help prepay customers unable to top up.

UK Government to pay up to 80% of salaries

As of 20 March, the UK Government announced that it would cover up to 80% of salaries. It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.

The cover relates to gross pay and will be backdated to the start of March, and last for three months. The chancellor Rishi Sunak said he would extend the scheme, which will be run by HMRC, for longer if necessary.

Freelancers ‘likely’ to get financial support too

The Government also looks likely to increase its help for freelancers and self-employed workers. (Although as of writing nothing has yet been confirmed.)

The possible scheme will make provision for payments to be made out of public funds to people who are self-employed, or freelancers.

The payments would ensure that their net monthly earnings don’t fall below 80% of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years, or £2,917, whichever is lower.

Read more from Samantha Downes on The Bad Mum.

Photo by Remy_Loz