The Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a mini-budget today as part of the next phase of government support in response to the impact of the Coronavirus on the UK economy. The main aim is to protect, support and create jobs.
A summary of the key announcements are detailed below:
Job Retention Bonus for employers
Employers who have utilised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 per employee for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.
To be eligible, the relevant employees will need to:
- earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January.
- have been furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
- have been continuously employed up until at least 31 January 2021.
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate Real Time Information (RTI) data to 31 January 2021 has been received.
From 15 July 2020 until 12 January 2021, the UK government will reduce VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol.
The VAT reduction will also apply to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
Stamp Duty saving for buyers
An increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland was announced. No Stamp Duty will be payable on the purchase of a main home with a value up to £500,000.
This is introduced with immediate effect until 31 March 2021.
Eat Out to Help Out scheme
An Eat Out to Help Out Scheme will be introduced during August 2020.
Individuals and families will be able to get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person. This will only be available at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered.
Eating establishments wishing to participate will be able to register their business online from Monday 13 July 2020. You will apply the discount to your sales and make a claim weekly throughout August for reimbursement from the government.
The government has advised the money will be reimbursed to your bank account within five working days of making the claim.
Apprentice Grants for employers
Employers will receive an additional grant of £2,000 for each new apprentice hired under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing grant of £1,000 already provided for new 16-18 year old apprentices and those aged under 25.
Green Homes Grant
The government announced additional grants to encourage homeowners and landlords to increase the energy efficiency of their residential properties. The scheme will provide at least £2 for every £1 spent on energy efficient work.
This will cover loft, wall and floor insulation and the maximum grant available will be up to £5,000 per household.