Yesterday the Chancellor announced several different measures aimed at boosting the UK economy as it goes through the negative down turn following the Covid pandemic and lockdown. The main measures were :
1) There is to be a Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 as a one off payment to employers who legitimately furloughed an employee and made the appropriate claim, with the employee remaining continuously employed until 31st January 2021. The employee must earn at least £520 per month for November, December, and January on average. The bonus will be claimable in February once the January RTI information has been received by HMRC.
2) There will be a VAT reduction from 20% to 5% on any eat in or hot take away food and drinks from restaurants, cafes, and pubs from 15th July to 12th January 2021. This reduction though excludes alcohol. The reduction also applies to holiday accommodation in hotels, B&B’s, Campsite and Caravan Parks, as well as attractions such as cinemas, theme parks, and zoos. How much of this will be passed on to the customer will be interesting to see.
3) The stamp duty land tax zero rate threshold has been increased with immediate effect until 31st March 2021, whereby no stamp duty will be payable on the first £500,000 ( previously £125,000 ) meaning a potential maximum saving on properties over the £500,000 threshold of £15,000. This does not impact on the 3% surcharge for second or more properties, irrespective of that property value. This should provide a boost to the housing market, which in turn will boost associated sales such as furnishings, furniture, and white goods.
4) A bit of a gimmick possibly, but worth taking advantage of if that’s what you would be doing anyway, is the eat out to help out scheme, which gives diners 50% off meals and non alcoholic drinks on Monday to Wednesday dining, up to as maximum of £10 per person. The restaurant/establishment has to be registered for the scheme, and there is no upper limit on how many times the scheme can be used by an individual.
5) For any employees furloughed on or before 30th June, the claim under the CJRS must be made no later than 31st July, otherwise it will be lost. And as previously reported, the amounts claimable under the CJRS changes with effect from 1st August. In addition, HMRC will shortly be contacting selected customers to discuss their claims!!!! which no doubt follows our recent article that a significant number of false and fraudulent claims have been made, and which HMRC are already aware of. If you need to disclose an error, then do so immediately.
6) There are new job creation grants and assistance which will come into force such as the ” kickstart ” job placement where an employer will receive a government contribution towards 6 months of wage costs for every 16 to 24 year old hired by employers, and the £2,000 grant for creating new apprenticeship roles over the next 6 months.
7) Homeowners will be able to obtain vouchers to make their homes more energy efficient, up to a maximum of £5,000 ( or £10,000 for some of the poorest families ). This will go towards loft/wall/floor insulation, eco friendly boilers, heat pumps, double/triple glazing, low energy lighting, energy efficient doors etc. It is hoped that this will give a boost to the various trades sectors.