In a Budget which ‘meets the moment’, last week the Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses. A number of initiatives have been outlined to help the economy recover from the pandemic. How will these measures affect you?
- Furlough scheme. Introduced at the beginning of the Covid crisis, the scheme has been extended until the end of September 2021. Currently, there are nearly 5 million people in furlough, hence the decision to extend a scheme that it’s very helpful to many employees and employers. The government will continue to pay up to 80% of wages, capped at a total of £2,500 per month. Employers will be asked to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September.
- Self-Employment. The SEISS (Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) has been extended by a further six months. More than 2 million people have already benefited from the first three grants, claiming up to 80% of their monthly profit for a period of 3 months (capped at £7,500). Terms are unchanged; the fourth grant will cover the period of February to April 2021. The following grants, the fifth and final grant, will be available from May.
- National Living Wage. Minimum wage will increase to £8.91 an hour from April 2021 and will be made available to those aged 23 and above (not 25 as previously).
- Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly, and you are eligible to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work. A £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit worth £1,000 a year will be extended for another six months.
- More apprenticeships on offer. Businesses that will hire apprentices throughout 2021, will continue to receive cash incentives until the end of September 2021. Companies receive £3,000 for each apprentice they employ, regardless of the age of the hirer.
Other initiatives like the VAT cuts for leisure and hospitality businesses, new grants for high street businesses, stamp duty holiday have been introduced or extended to help the economy recover. In addition, and new skilled worker visas will be introduced to attract international talent in areas such as science and tech and make the country a global hub for innovation.
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