Extensions to furlough, self-employed support, business grants, loans and VAT cuts are Rishi Sunak's immediate priorities, recognising that businesses were hit the hardest. He also set out plans to drive jobs, growth and investment.
Covid - 19 support
- Furlough will be extended until the end of September with the Government to continue paying 80% of employees' wages for hours they cannot work. Employers to be asked to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September
- Support for the self-employed also to be extended until September and 600,000 more self-employed people will be eligible for help as access to grants is widened
- £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit worth £1,000 a year to be extended for another six months
- Working Tax Credit claimants will get £500 one-off payment
- Minimum wage to increase to £8.91 an hour from April
- The business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional three months. Retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will pay no business rates for three months from 1 April.
- Extended the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months, until 31 March 2022.
- Grant funding will be available to businesses in England through a new £5 billion Restart Grant scheme to help the high street, providing up to £18,000, bringing the total spent on business grants to £25 billion.
- A new Recovery Loan Scheme will also be launched to replace the existing government guaranteed schemes which have supported £73 billion of lending to date and close at the end of March.
- UK Government’s Plan for Jobs to support, protect and create jobs, the Chancellor is increasing support with £126 million of new money to enable 40,000 more traineeships, and doubling the cash incentive to firms who take on an apprentice to a £3,000 payment per hire. The National Living Wage will be increased to £8.91 from April and there will also be a six-month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, with eligible Working Tax Credit claimants receiving a one-off payment of £500.
- 130,000 small and medium-sized businesses will be supported through the new Help to Grow scheme, providing the digital and management tools needed to innovate, grow and help drive recovery.
- Beginning April 2021, a new super-deduction will cut companies’ tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment meaning they can reduce their taxable profits by 130% of the cost. This is worth £25 billion to companies over the two-year period the super-deduction will be in full effect.
- Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, new port infrastructure will be built to support the next generation of offshore wind projects in Teesside and Humberside. The UK will issue at least £15 billion in green bonds to help finance the transition to net zero and the government will launch the world’s first sovereign green savings bond for retail investors