I was sat in my car listening to the Budget speech by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, on my way to Wadebridge for my Covid-19 jab.
This is the gist of what I heard but for the full shebang, here it all is:
To be fair, the Chancellor came across as confident and prepared, regardless of what he had to say. I didn’t find too much about his immediate plans to find issue with in his Coronavirus, post-Brexit Budget but I’m sure it is possible, and longer term issues will doubtless arise; for example, people have already questioned his Freeport idea.
We were warned that economic recovery would take a long time but meanwhile, some key points affecting people and small businesses:
- Furlough extended to end Sept, with employers slowly contributing more in summer
- Self-employed support extended to end September
- £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit extended for another 6 months
- Minimum wage increase to £8.91 in summer
- No changes to income tax, national insurance or VAT
- Stamp duty holiday extended to 30th June
- £19m for domestic violence programmes
- £10m to support armed forces veterans with mental health needs
- £400m to help arts venues in England to re-open (including museums and galleries)
- Business rates holiday in England to continue until June with 75% discount after that
- £5 billion in Restart grants for shops and other businesses in England forced to close
- £6,000 per premises for non-essential outlets due to re-open in April and £18,000 for gyms, personal care providers and other hospitality and leisure businesses
- Lower VAT rate for hospitality firms to be maintained at 5% rate until September
- Fuel and alcohol duties frozen
- New UK Infrastructure Bank to be set up in Leeds
This helps furloughed jobs to be retained and small businesses to continue in operation until, hopefully, long after the current lockdown finally ends.