Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has revealed his 2021 Budget today (Wednesday) which includes a number of significant changes for Islanders.
Taking to the floor of the House of Commons this lunchtime, Mr Sunak has outlined his ‘budget for recovery’ plan to bring Britain out of the pandemic, no matter what it takes.
As part of today’s Budget, the Solent area has been named as a Freeport region, which is hoped will help create more than 50,000 jobs and attract £2 billion in extra investment.
• ✔️ Furlough scheme extended until 30th September 2021 – 80% of salary for employees but businesses to contribute from July
• ✔️ Self-employment grants extended until 30th September 2021, with newly self-employed eligible with 2019/20 tax return
• ✔️ Universal Credit uplift of £20 a week extended by 6 months with one-off £500 payment for working tax credit claimants
• ✔️ National Living Wage to increase to £8.91 from April
• ✔️ Stamp Duty holiday extended until 30th June, with no stamp duty for properties up to £250,000 until 30th September
• ✔️ Mortgage guarantee scheme to help home buyers purchase properties with a deposit of just 5% up to a value of £600,000
• ✔️ Contactless payment limit increased from £45 to £100
• ✔️ Extension to the VAT cut for certain industries to continue until 30th September, then 12.5% for 6 months
• ✔️ New restart grant in April – Up to £6,000 for non-essential retail and up to £18,000 for personal care, gyms etc
• ✔️ Business rates holiday to continue until June then discounted by two-thirds for the rest of the year
• ✔️ VAT threshold to remain at £85,000
• ✔️ Super deduction – when companies invest they can reduce their tax bill by 130% of the cost
• ✔️ Alcohol duty frozen
• ✔️ Fuel duty frozen
• ❌ Personal Tax Allowance frozen at £12,500 and £50,000 – will increase to £12,570 / £50,270 next year but frozen until April 2026
• ❌ Corporation Tax to rise from 19% to 25% from April 2023 – companies with profits under £50,000 will remain at 19%, then a taper up to 25%
It has also been announced that an extra £19million has been put towards domestic violence programmes and an additional £10million has been announced to help Armed Forces veterans with their mental health needs. A new programme called Help to Grow will give small businesses digital skills, free expert training and a 50% discount on software worth up to £5,000.
Mr Sunak will hold a briefing from Downing Street at 17:00 this evening, touching on the announcements relating to the coronavirus pandemic such as the extended furlough and further grants for the self-employed.