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Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his summer economic update to the House of Commons and warned the UK is facing “profound economic challenges” as a result of the pandemic.
The Treasury previously played down this being a ‘July Budget’ or a ‘mini-Budget’, insisting no economic forecasts or tax decisions will be issued. Those are all on hold until what looks like a whopper of an Autumn Budget and subsequent spending review.
During the announcement Sunak told MPs: “People need to know that although hardship lies ahead, no one will be left without hope.”
He vowed to turn the UK’s national recovery “into millions of stories of personal renewal” as he unveiled a £30bn package of measures.
These measures included:
- A Job Retention Bonus: the government will pay employers £1,000 per employee that they bring back from furlough, so long as they employ them until at least January.
- VAT cut from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions, taking effect from 15 July until 12 January 2021.
- The government will give people 50% off meals in participating restaurants on Monday-Wednesday in August, up to £10 per person.
- £1bn to the Department for Work and Pensions to help jobseekers, including increasing the number of coaches in job centres.
- Stamp duty has been scrapped on property sales up to £500,000 until 31 March 2021.
- £3bn green investment package, including £2bn in grants for landlords and homeowners to improve energy efficiency of homes, up to £5,000 per household. The rest will go towards work improving the energy efficiency of public buildings.
- £2bn ‘kickstart’ scheme designed to boost jobs for young adults. The government will subsidise the wages of six-month work placements for certain 16-24 year olds.
- The government is offering companies new payments for taking on trainees and apprentices.
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