The Chancellor released an emergency budget today to help kickstart the economy and recover from the impact of Covid-19. It wasn’t a huge budget but I have outlined the points below:
1) Job Retention Scheme Bonus
For all employers who bring staff back off furlough, and retain them for 3 months after the furlough scheme ends in October 2020, they will receive a £1000 bonus per employee in January 2021.
The staff member must have been paid at least £520 on average per month from November 2020 to the end of January 2021 in order for the business to receive the bonus for that employee.
2) Kickstart Scheme
This scheme is worth £2.1 billion pounds and will help to create more jobs for youth who have been affected by the pandemic. It will subsidise 6-month work placements for people who are on Universal Credit between the ages of 16 and 24.
The government will cover 25 hours of work a week at the National Minimum Wage for those who qualify under this scheme.
Businesses will be able to apply from next month to take part in this scheme and there won’t be a limit to how many places there are available. The government is expecting the first jobs to start in the autumn and it will run until December 2021.
The government has pledged to provide 30,000 new traineeships for young people in England and will give businesses £1,000 for each new staff member they take on under this scheme.
Businesses that hire an apprentice from August 2020 to January 2021, will be eligible for a bonus of £2,000 for apprentices aged between 16 and 24, and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over. The £2,000 will be in addition to the existing payment of £1,000 that businesses already receive when they hire an apprentice aged 16-18 years.
5) VAT reduced for hospitality sector from 20% to 5%
From Wednesday, July 15th, the VAT charged on food, accommodation and attractions will be 5% and not 20%, and it will stay at the reduced rate until January 12th 2021.
This will apply to eat-in or hot takeaway food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants/cafes/pubs, accommodation in hotels/B&B’s/campsites and caravan sites, and attractions like cinemas/theme parks and zoos. The government has made this VAT-cut in the hopes that it will encourage people to go out and spend more money within the hospitality sector and it will kickstart the economy.
6) Eat out in August and get half-price meals
Every week in August, from Monday to Wednesday, people will be encouraged to go out and eat in their local pubs, cafes and restaurants, as the government has said that all meals at participating restaurants will be 50% less (up to £10/person). The discount will only apply to sit-down meals and non-alcoholic drinks.
Businesses will need to register to take part in this scheme and will be able to do so from next week through an online form. After a business makes a claim for the money from the discounts, the government has said they will receive the money within 5 days.
7) Vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements
This scheme is part of a wider plan to help reduce emissions in the UK, and it is hoped that by helping homeowners to install things like cavity wall insulation, floor insulation, and double glazing, it will also support more than 100,000 jobs within the construction industry.
It will launch in September and people will be able to apply online for recommended energy efficiency measures as well as find details of accredited local suppliers. After an accredited supplier has provided a quote and the work is approved, the government will issue a voucher to help towards the costs of the home improvements.
Some of the poorest households could get up to £10,000 towards the cost.
As further details are released about the various schemes that were unveiled today, I will update my website as well as all of my social media platforms.
I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.
The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/
I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/