The Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a “Summer Statement” or “Mini Budget” in the House of Commons on Wednesday, including schemes to help support the economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
Opening his statement in Parliament, Mr Sunak said “People need to know that although hardship lies ahead, no one will be left without hope.”
The Chancellor announced a plan to help keep furloughed workers in their jobs when the Job Retention Scheme ends in October. Mr Sunak said the ‘Job Retention Bonus’ would see employers paid £1,000 for every furloughed employee they bring back to work and keep in their jobs until January 2021 (and provided certain conditions are met).
Setting out his statement, the Chancellor announced a three-point plan, pledging to support people to find jobs, create jobs and to protect jobs. Key measures under the three-point Plan for Jobs include;
- A new “Kickstart Scheme” to support 16-24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment
- Employers will be paid to take on new trainees and to create new apprenticeships
- Funding will be provided for new careers advisers
- The numbers of work coaches at Job Centres is to be doubled
The Chancellor also announced a temporary stamp duty holiday to help the property market, exempting the first £500,000 of all property sales from the tax. Meanwhile, VAT will be slashed from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions from next Wednesday until January 12.
The Chancellor said that the economic recovery from the pandemic would be a “Green Recovery”, announcing vouchers of up to £5,000 to help allow energy-saving home improvements.
Another key announcement by the Chancellor was that every Brit will be given discounts for restaurants in a scheme to help the hospitality industry. Many restaurants and restaurant chain have struggled financially due to their doors being closed during the Coronavirus pandemic. Bella Italia, Chiquots, Las Iguanas, Frankie and Benny’s and Coast to Coast are just some of the chains that have announced restaurant closures. Speaking in Parliament, Rishi Sunak said;
‘To get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs and protect the 1.8 million people who work in them, I can announce today that for the month of August we will give everyone in the country an “eat out to help out” discount.’
‘Meals eaten at any participating business will be 50% off up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children. We can all eat out to help out.’
Restaurants will be able to register for the scheme from Monday and will be able to receive funds for money they claim back within five working days.