Good afternoon. Today we’re reporting on the Chancellor’s Summer Statement for July 2020. It has been widely trailed as a package of measures designed to help Britain’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The big question on many people’s lips was whether the furlough scheme would be extended. It won’t be – the focus was much more on getting people back to work.
This update summarises the main measures announced by Rishi Sunak. We’ll be covering some of them in more detail once fuller information is available.
Measures announced in the Chancellor’s Summer Statement
The Chancellor announced that his main aim was to protect, support and create jobs. The main measures he outlined to achieve this were:
- Furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). The chancellor said it was in no-one’s long-term interest to extend the furlough scheme beyond the end of October. It will therefore finish at the end of that month as originally planned.
- A new job retention bonus. Firms bringing employees back from furlough, employing them until at least January 2021, will receive a £1,000 bonus per employee. Each worker must earn an average of £520 per month to qualify.
- A £2bn job creation scheme for the under 25s. Known as the “Kickstart” job scheme, it will fund six-month job placements for 18- to 24-year-olds. During this temporary scheme, the government will pay 100% of the national minimum wage for up to 25 hours per week. Employers will be allowed to top this up if they wish. The grant will be worth approximately £6,500 per person.
- Apprentice hiring scheme. The government will pay up to £2,000 for each new apprentice hired between August and January.
- £900m will be invested to double the number of work coaches in Job Centres.
- A £2bn Green Homes Grant. This is a £2 billion voucher scheme for homeowners that will pay for at least two-thirds of green improvements, such as loft, wall and floor insulation. The aim is to unlock work for tradespeople. Vouchers will be up to a maximum of £5,000.
- A temporary change to the Stamp Duty threshold. No Stamp Duty on homes worth up to £500,000 until 31 March 2021.
- VAT on hospitality and tourism – food, accommodation or attractions – will be reduced from 20% to 5% until 31 January 2021.
- ‘Eat out to help out’ discount. Every week in August there will be a 50% discount on meals and non-alcoholic drinks at eligible pubs, cafés and restaurants. The discount will be valid Mondays to Wednesdays and is worth up to £10 per head. Businesses can register from Monday. Government will pay back the discount to hospitality businesses.
The government has just published a summary of its ‘Plan for Jobs 2020’ online. Over the coming days we will be looking at it closely and letting you know about some of the measures in more detail.
About Ben Locker
Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.