Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a range of measures to try and kick-start the economy.
The big story is a cut in VAT for the hospitality sector from 20% to 5% and this will apply to eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
He also announced a temporary stamp duty holiday until January 2021 to stimulate the property market. This would exempt the first £500,000 of all property sales from the tax.
The government will pay businesses a £1,000 bonus for every staff member that is kept on for three months when the furlough scheme ends in October. To qualify, the employee must be paid at least £520 on average, in each month from November to the end of January.
New schemes were announced to boost employment and training opportunities for 16 – 24 year olds. This includes a ‘Kick Start’ scheme to assist those at risk of long term unemployment by funding six-month work placements to those on universal credit. Further support will be provided to young people in England: funding of £1,000 for each new work experience place; for apprenticeships – funding of £2,000 for each new apprentice aged under 25, and £1,500 for each new apprentice aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021. The apprenticeship payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 funding that is provided for young apprentices.
There was also a scheme announced that will be launched in August to give 50% off to people dining out. The scheme will mean 50% off meals eaten at any registered business between Monday to Wednesday in August, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head (including children).