Chancellor announces measures to boost economy

The Chancellor has announced a number of measures to help boost the economy. These include employer incentives to take support traineeships and apprenticeships. Employers will receive £2,000 for taking on an apprentice and £1,000 for taking on a person on a traineeship. BASE has written to the Department for Education to ask whether similar incentives will apply to Supported Internships.

 

Supporting jobs

A Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021. To get the bonus, firms must pay at least £520 each month.

A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.

A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Young people, who are amongst the worst hit by the crisis, will benefit from this. This includes:

  • Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training.
  • £17 million of funding to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements in 2020-21
  • Nearly £900 million to double the number of Jobcentre Plus work coaches to 27,000;
  • Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service.

 

Creating jobs

The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.

This includes a £3 billion green investment package that could help support around 140,000 green jobs and upgrade buildings and reduce emissions. As part of this package homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for vouchers from a £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme this year to pay for green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation.

And a £1 billion programme will make public buildings, including schools and hospitals, greener, helping the country meet its ambitions of achieving Net Zero by 2050.

In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on construction projects. This includes:

  • £1.5 billion for hospital maintenance and upgrades
  • £100 million for our local roads network
  • over £1 billion to start to rebuild schools in the worst condition in England, plus £760 million this year for key maintenance work on schools and FE colleges
  • £1 billion for local projects to boost local economic recovery in the places that need it most
  • £142 million for court maintenance to repair around 100 courts across England.

 

Protecting jobs

To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants the Government’s new Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020.

The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will also be cut from 20% to 5%.

A temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021.