The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has spent so much time in the spotlight that it seems hard to believe he has only been the job for five months. Yesterday’s financial statement was just the latest of a series of announcements by Mr Sunak since he presented his Spring Budget on 11 March, four weeks after entering 11 Downing Street. One way or another, all the announcements have been responses to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
His latest statement was perhaps the most difficult, given the circumstances in which it was set.
- A £1,000 Job Retention Bonus will be introduced when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends for employees who have been furloughed.
- A new Kickstart Scheme will cover employers’ costs for new six-month work placements for trainees aged 16-24.
- A £1,000 payment will be made to employers for each 16-24-year-old on work placement and training.
- Employers who hire new apprentices will receive payments of up to £2,000.
- There will be a temporary cut to Stamp Duty Land Tax on residential property, increasing the zero-rate band to £500,000 and saving purchasers up to £15,000.
- The rate of VAT will be cut temporarily from 20% to 5% for restaurant, food, accommodation and attractions businesses.
- An ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme will offer 50% meal discounts during August.