The Chancellor has today introduced new financial measures in a mini-budget aimed squarely at creating job placements for the young, retaining and saving jobs for the those who have been furloughed, stimulating the property market and boosting the hospitality industry.
The measures announced include:
A new £2bn ‘kickstarter’ scheme to create thousands of job placements for young people, with employers being paid to take on trainees.
A temporary change to stamp duty - increasing the threshold to £500,000 before any stamp duty becomes payable, homeowners moving on could make a saving of up to £14,999.
A temporary cut to VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5%. This should produce a drop in prices, encouraging the public to go out and spend, but it is possible that businesses will not pass the benefit on and will instead increase profit margins with a view to helping them recover from the financial impact of the lockdown.
A new job retention bonus for employers who bring back furloughed staff of £1,000 per employee that returns to work. This is on the condition the employee works for the whole period from November through to January and is paid at least £520 per month.
A £2bn "green homes grant" to help make homes more energy efficient, offering grants of up to £5,000 to insulate homes, including properties owned by landlords.
“Eat out to help out” vouchers that will give diners 50% off their meals out, with conditions, for August to help boost the hospitality sector even further.
These measures are welcome and will no doubt go some way to reinvigorate the hospitality industry, create jobs for the young people and stop many thousands of lower earners from being made redundant. Whether they go far enough remains to be seen, but in the meantime it is clear we are being encouraged to go out and spend.
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