Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his second Budget today as the UK’s economy looks to recover from the impact of Covid and lockdown. Here are some of the key points he announced:
The suspension of stamp duty on property sales of up to £500,000 has been moved to June 30. It will be kept at double its standard level until the end of September, and then return to usual levels from October 1.
Mr Sunak also introduced a mortgage guarantee to help first-time buyers access 95% mortgages when buying properties worth up to £600,000.
Arts, leisure and hospitality
The Chancellor announced a £400m package to help arts venues in England, including museums and galleries, re-open as lockdown restrictions are eased. There will also be a £300m recovery package for professional sport and £25m for grassroots football.
The 5% reduced rate of VAT will be extended for six months for the “hardest hit” sector of hospitality and tourism. An interim 12.5% rate will apply for the following six months before returning to the standard rate from April 2022.
Hospitality and leisure businesses will also pay no business rates for three months until June 30, then rates will be discounted for the remaining nine months of the financial year by two-thirds.
In a widely trailed move the furlough scheme is being extended until September. Employees will continue to receive 80 per cent of their salary while businesses will contribute 10 per cent from July and 20 per cent in August and September.
A further 600,000 self-employed people will be eligible for help as the self-employment income support scheme has also been extended. The fourth grant will cover February to April, worth 80% of average trading profits up to £7,500.
The £20 top-up in Universal Credit will be extended for another six months, and the minimum wage is to increase to £8.91 an hour from April.
A £5bn restart grant fund for businesses is being offered to help companies get going again as we come out of lockdown.
As other loans come to an end, a new scheme, which will offer amounts of between £25,000 and £10m, will be launched to run until the end of the year.
The maximum single contactless card payment will rise from £45 to £100 later this year. Individual businesses will be able to decide whether to accept the new limit.
Taxation and duties
There are no changes to rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT.
Personal income tax allowance frozen at the £12,570 threshold from 2022 to 2026.
Corporation tax increases to 25% from 2023.
All alcohol duties are frozen for the second year running and the planned fuel duty rise has been cancelled.