The government has published a Budget aimed at protecting the jobs and livelihoods of the British people through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will have a key role to play in delivering this commitment.
The Budget builds on the government’s existing support, which has helped to limit lasting damage while strengthening the economy in the longer term. Including measures announced at Budget 2020, total support for the economy comes to £407 billion this year and next year – the largest peacetime economic support package on record.
Alongside addressing the immediate challenges of COVID-19 and putting the UK’s public finances on a sustainable footing in the medium term, the government recognises the importance of acting now to create the conditions for an investment-led recovery driven by private sector growth.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
Through this Budget, we will continue to stand by workers and businesses as we have done throughout the pandemic – supporting millions of jobs and livelihoods across the United Kingdom.
Recognising the critical role our innovators and wealth creators will play in driving our economic recovery, the government has also unveiled a raft of measures to stimulate private investment, including a radical new super-deduction to cut companies’ tax bills if they invest in Britain’s future.
As we look forward with optimism to easing restrictions and carefully reopening our economy, we are investing in the people, the businesses, and the innovative, climate friendly projects that will strengthen our Union, create new jobs and ensure we can build back better, greener and stronger from the pandemic.
- £5 billion for new Restart Grants – a one off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England. Non-essential retail businesses will open first, so they will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises. Hospitality and leisure businesses, including personal care and gyms, will open later, or be more impacted by restrictions when they do, so will be given grants of up to £18,000. This brings the total spent on business grants to £25 billion
- a new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery. This replaces the existing COVID-19 loan schemes which have supported £73 billion of lending to date and close to applications at the end of March
- the business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional 3 months. That means 750,000 retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will pay no business rates for three months from 1 April when combined with Small Business Rates Relief, with further relief available for the rest of the year
- to continue supporting the 150,000 businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors and to protect 2.4 million jobs, the government has extended the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further 6 months, until 31 March 2022
- small and medium-sized employers in the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the government - a temporary COVID-19 measure intended to support employers while levels of sickness absence are high
- to help otherwise-viable UK businesses which have been pushed into a loss-making position, the trading loss carry-back rule will be temporarily extended from the existing one year to 3 years
- £100 million for a new Taxpayer Protection Taskforce to crack-down on COVID fraudsters who have exploited UK government support schemes. Government will also raise awareness of enforcement action in order to deter fraud and will significantly strengthen law enforcement for Bounce Back Loans