Summer economic update! Exceptional times call for exceptional measures: It is back to work and eat out to help out! - Wright Vigar
 In Advice, Blog, News

In many ways, the Summer statement was more exciting than many budgets. It was the sort of give-away that is normally expected from a budget running up to an election. Inevitably, there are going to be those who feel that they have been missed out and “fallen through the cracks” yet again, but overall the announcement was about promoting getting back to work and boosting what the Chancellor sees as the hardest-hit sectors of the business world.

Any further extension to the job retention scheme, we were told, would be counter-productive, as people sitting at home for extended periods will lose skills. Instead, there is to be a £1,000 bonus for employers for every furloughed employee that they bring back to work and retain throughout November, December and January.

The Chancellor, however, said that he did not just want to protect jobs, he wanted to create jobs and there was, therefore, a package of measures announced. The kickstart scheme is designed to subsidise work placements for 16 to 24 year-olds being paid a minimum of £250 per week and offered training and support to find a permanent job. Employers are also being encouraged to take on trainees and apprentices by being offered £1,000 for each traineeship and £2,000 for each apprenticeship.

The construction industry was offered a boost by the announcement of a temporary extension of the nil rate band for stamp duty on residential properties up to £0.5 million to take immediate effect and continue to 31 March 2021. Additionally, landlords and homeowners are being offered support to make their home’s energy-efficient. The other sector which was thrown a lifeline was hospitality. Firstly, VAT was cut to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions until 12 January 2021 and finally, everyone was invited to eat out to help out. Businesses will be able to register for the scheme and each week in August, will be able to offer a 50% discount on the cost of meals up to a maximum of £10 per head.

As always, it is likely that the devil will be in the detail, so watch this space!

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