One year ago, the Government promised the British people they would do whatever it takes to provide security and stability. The Conservative Government are delivering on that promise: over this year and next, £407 billion of support for families, jobs and businesses is being provided, more than almost any other country in the world.
Despite this unprecedented support, the damage coronavirus has done to our economy has been acute. Since March, 700,000 people have lost their jobs, the economy has shrunk by 10 per cent –the largest fall on record –and our borrowing is at the highest it has ever been outside of wartime.
Today’s Budget protects the jobs and livelihoods of the British people with a three-part plan:
(1) Supporting people and businesses through this moment of crisis.
(2) Beginning to fix the public finances with a fair and honest plan about how to do so.
(3) Building our future economy.
As the IMF, Bank of England and OBR have all confirmed: the plan is working. As a result of our interventions, unemployment is now estimated to peak at far lower levels than previously expected, and our economy is now forecast to recover faster than previously thought as well.
SUPPORTING PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES THROUGH THIS CRISIS
- Extending furlough until the end of September
- Two further grants for the self-employed–and bringing in 19/20 starters
- Restart grants of up to £18,000 to get our retail, hospitality, leisure, and personal care businesses going again
- Business rates holiday extended for 3 months, before tapering for another 9
- Extending the VAT cut to 5 per cent for a further six months, before tapering for another six
- Continuing our stamp duty cut for another three months, before tapering for another three
- Extending Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits by six months
- More money for apprenticeships and traineeships
- New Recovery Loans to replace our existing loan schemes
- £700 million for arts, culture and sports
- A brand new 95 per cent mortgage guarantee for prospective home buyers
BEGINNING TO FIX THE PUBLIC FINANCES
- Asking the largest, most profitable firms to pay more in two years’ time by increasing corporation tax to 25 per cent– while still being the lowest in the G7, and the fifth lowest in the G20
- But ALSO an unprecedented Super Deduction on capital investment for businesses – a £25billion tax cut
- Maintaining personal tax allowances at their current levels from April 2023 until 2026
- Keeping inheritance, capital gains and pensions lifetime allowances & the VAT threshold at current levels
- Keeping our manifesto pledge with NO increases to income tax, NICs or VAT
- Freezing alcohol duty and fuel duty
BUILDING OUR FUTURE ECONOMY
- 45 new Town Deals worth £1 billion, including Workington, Ipswich, Southport, Wakefield and Whitby
- Moving Treasury North to Darlington
- Launching our £150 million Community Ownership Fund
- Announcing the locations of our eight freeports in England
- Launching the first ever UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds to invest in infrastructure
- Opening bidding for the Levelling Up Fund (with capacity funding) and the UK Community Renewal Fund
- Help to Grow to boost the productivity of our small businesses
- Visa reforms to attract highly-skilled migrants to the UK
- Green initiatives: a new retail bond, offshore wind funding, and new carbon markets
- Future Fund Breakthrough to fund high growth companies, and ambitious reforms to IPO listings
- Funding energy projects in Scotland and rail infrastructure in Wales
Further information on the 2021 Budget can be found here.