BUDGET 2021: Key points . . .

March 3, 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his Budget this afternoon.

The main points are: 

No rise in VAT, income tax or national insurance 

Corporation tax to rise from 19% to 25% from 2023 but only 10% largest companies will pay, Chancellor claims 

Two-year ‘super deduction’ in tax for companies that invest in innovation 

Eight ‘Freeports’ established to deliver ‘an unprecedented economic boost’. They will be in East Midlands Airport, Liverpool, Felixstowe, Humber, Plymouth, Thames, Teesside, and Solent. Bristol, which submitted a bid backed by politicians across the region, was not included

Help to Grow scheme launched to help small businesses become more innovative in areas such as management and digital

£150m fund to help communities take over pubs, theatres or sports clubs

VAT registration threshold to stay at £85,000 until 2024

UK Infrastructure Bank to be launched with initial capitalisation of £12bn, headquartered in Leeds

45 new town deals are being announced

£1.6bn to boost science research and new visa scheme to attract brightest scientist to UK

Chancellor says coronavirus has fundamentally altered our way of life

Economy has shrunk by 10% – the biggest fall for 200 years – and 700,000 people have lost their jobs

Government's economic response has been one of most comprehensive in the world

OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) expects UK economy to return to its pre-Covid level by middle of next year – six months sooner than previously predicted

But economy will still be 3% smaller in five years than it would have been

Unemployment will peak at 6.1%, says OBR 

OBR expects the economy to grow by 4% this year, then 7.3% in 2022, then 1.7%, 1.6% and 1.7% in the following years.

Confirms furlough scheme to be extended to September. Government will continue paying 80% of employees’ wages for hours they cannot work with employers contributing 10% in July and 20% in August and September 

600,000 more self-employed people to be eligible for help as access to grants is widened

£126m to help trainees shift to apprentices

New recovery loan scheme to be introduced for businesses

VAT rate for hospitality and tourism to be reduced

Business rates holiday extended to end of June

Stamp duty holiday on house purchases to be extended to September 30 and new mortgage guarantee introduced 

Non-essential retail businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises

Hospitality and leisure businesses will get grants of up to £18,000

Government £355bn borrowed this year – 17% of GDP – the highest level of borrowing since World War Two and it will be £234bn – 10.3% of GDP – next year

All alcohol and fuel duties frozen

£100m for HMRC to investigate Covid fraud

Chancellor spoke for 51 minutes


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