Delivering his update in Parliament on 8th July, he announced measures with the aim to support jobs in every sector, whilst giving employers the confidence to hire and retain staff. He also wants to provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs.
The plan for jobs is the second part of a three-phase plan to secure the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus. Throughout the pandemic, the UK Government has acted with speed to protect lives and safeguard jobs.
The first stage was a £160 billion support package, which included £49 billion of extra funding for the country’s vital public services including the NHS, paying the wages of nearly 12 million people and supporting over a million businesses through grants, loans and rates cuts.
As the UK enters the second phase in its recovery, the Chancellor’s plan is designed to support jobs by focussing on skills and young people, create jobs with investment in shovel-ready projects and greening our infrastructure, and protect jobs through a VAT cut for the hospitality sector and a landmark Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme for diners.
The Chancellor said that following this second phase focusing on jobs, there will be a third phase focusing on rebuilding, with a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn.
Some of the highlights from the Chancellors plan;
Jobs Retention Bonus
As part of the plan to support jobs, a new jobs retention bonus will be introduced to help businesses keep furloughed workers. For each furloughed employee that a business brings back to work and is still employed as of 31st January, they will receive a £1000 bonus.
A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will also 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.
Green Investment Package
Sunak's plan also includes nearly £9bn to be spent on 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 that could save some households hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills while creating thousands of jobs for tradespeople.
Eat Out to Help Out
The hospitality was severely impacted throughout the pandemic and in April 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading, affecting 1.4 million workers - the highest proportion in any sector. To encourage customers to return to the sector and start spending, the government have introduced the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. This will 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.
VAT cut to 5%
Also to help the hospitality and tourism sector, the government are introducing a cut to VAT in this area. This cut will save households, on average, £160 per year and aims to support over 2.4 million staff through 150,000 businesses, including restaurants, hotels and attractions. You can check which businesses are eligible here.
We will publish more information as soon as we have it via our blog or email updates for our clients. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the scheme or anything else, please get in touch. You can also refer to our COVID-19 support page.
Thanks for stopping by,
The Business Hut Team