Rishi Sunak, the UK chancellor, has announced a series of measures to kickstart the economy by getting people back to work and back into shops and restaurants.
Here’s what he put forward in today’s announcement.
The UK chancellor has put forward plans for £30 billion in spending to help kickstart the economy.
Now that more and more business owners are looking ahead to life after lockdown, it’s believed the nation now needs to move on from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has seen the government foot the bill for 80% of the wages of an estimated 9.4 million UK workers.
What is the government doing to help kickstart the economy?
The government today announced the following package of measures to help kickstart the economy after months of lockdown.
- Jobs Retention Bonus – A £1,000 bonus paid to businesses for each employee they bring back from furlough.
- VAT cut – Businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry will see VAT temporarily cut from the standard 20% rate to a reduced rate of 5%..
- Discounts on eating out – The “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme will run across August to offer a 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks (up to a maximum of £10) for anyone eating out at cafes, restaurants and pubs.
There will also be a “kickstart scheme” to get unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds into work and new payments made to businesses who hire apprentices.
The focus will be on getting people back to work after weeks or months away on furlough, and the bonus announced is to encourage employers to bring staff back and avoid mass redundancies.
Sunak said of the measures: “If you’re an employer and you bring back someone who was furloughed – and continuously employ them through to January – we’ll pay you a £1,000 bonus per employee”
He added: “Its vital people aren’t just returning for the sake of it – they need to be doing decent work. So for businesses to get the bonus, the employee must be paid at least £520 on average, in each month from November to the end of January – the equivalent of the lower earnings limit in national insurance.”
This confirms that the furlough scheme won’t be extended beyond August.
Opposition has said the chancellor’s plans did not go far enough and the potential £9.4 billion that will be spent on the job retention bonus should be better targeted to prevent it going to firms that were already planning to bring staff back.
Here’s the chancellor on BBC Breakfast today, answering questions from self-employed people:
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>“I can’t get my head around how the Chancellor expects anyone to survive on zero income”<br>This is what the Chancellor Rishi Sunak had to say when we put self-employed Mark’s concerns to him on <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCBreakfast?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BBCBreakfast</a> ⤵️<br>More here: <a href=”https://t.co/4HnJdiBF94″>https://t.co/4HnJdiBF94</a> <a href=”https://t.co/0x6t5oaB43″>pic.twitter.com/0x6t5oaB43</a></p>— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) <a href=”https://twitter.com/BBCBreakfast/status/1281125482663206912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 9, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>