Wherever you are in the UK, there’s no avoiding the bad weather; from flooding in Farringdon to snow in Scotland.
Here at AccountingWEB headquarters in Bristol, we’ve been lucky in avoiding the majority of the floods sweeping the South West. But members across the country and further afield have been reporting how the weather’s been affecting them, including no train service, flooding and power cuts.
With the bad weather set to continue into the weekend, HMRC and the government have come up with a raft of measures for those affected by the bad weather, including:
- Business rates relief: All affected businesses can apply to their local authority to get business rate relief for three months
- HMRC will seek to offer three months additional Time To Pay in the above cases for VAT, PAYE and CT
- HMRC has launched a hotline for those having difficulties in meeting tax liabilities due to flooding, open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4pm: 0800 904 7900
- The government announced a £10m fund for farmers to restore agricultural land affected by flooding
- It also said a £5,000 repair and renew grant would be available for flood impacted homeowners and businesses for repairs
In addition, major banks have pledged £750m for customers financially affected by the floods and bad weather.
These include RBS's £250m interest free loan fund for affected businesses, and an offer of repayment holidays for mortgage customers.
Lloyds and Barclays also announced financial packages of £250m each and HSBC, Santander and Nationwide have launched support programmes for their affected business and individual customers.
And for areas with affected rail transport, mainly in the South West, the Department for Transport has pledged £31m to fund rail resilience projects.
Philip Fisher sparked an aid debate in a recent blog, after he wrote that the flooding may make people more mindful of those suffering from extreme weather disasters overseas, something which many may normally feel 'removed' from.
"As we are constantly being reminded at present, floods and gales are more than capable of causing their own devastation in Britain from time to time. Once again, this is usually a long way from where we live and involves nobody that we know," he wrote.
Fisher added that the national press suggesting that financial aid to third world countries should be revoked to help those suffering from flooding here is "tasteless":
He suggested instead: "A far more helpful and practical suggestion came via a tweet to the BBC website. This suggested that perhaps the money that had been earmarked for HS2 could more usefully being spent to alleviate the rail problems that the railways will face over the next couple of years sorting out the aftermath of the floods?"
Have you been affected by the recent spate of bad weather and flooding? Has it caused you to have to work from home or lose power in your area?