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AT-A-GLANCE: All the major announcements in Rishi Sunak's first Budget

AT-A-GLANCE: All the major announcements in Rishi Sunak's first Budget
5 min read

Catch up on all the key figures and pledges from Chancellor Rishi Sunak's first ever Budget.


SPECIAL CORONAVIRUS SPENDING

Rishi Sunak spent a full seventeen minutes of his Budget on the Government's plans to respond to the coronavirus, unveiling a £30bn package to help offset the impact of the disease's spread.

Among the key announcements, the Government essentially offered the NHS a blank cheque, with the Chancellor saying he would provide the health service with "whatever resources it needs".

Other announcements on the response to the outbreak include:

  • A £5bn emergency response fund for NHS and other public services.
  • Statutory sick pay will be extended to all those told to self-isolate, even if they have not been diagnosed with the virus.
  • Contributory Employment Support Allowance benefit claimants will be able to claim sick pay from day one, rather than having to wait a week.
  • A £500m hardship fund will be divied up among local authorities to provide support to the most vulnerable.
  • A £2bn government fund will cover the costs of providing statutory sick pay for up to 14 days for workers in firms with fewer than 250 employees.
  • The Treasury will also underwrite loans with a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to give banks confidence to lend to firms struggling as a result of the outbreak.
  • Business rates will be temporarily abolished for retail, leisure or hospitality businesses with a rateable value below £51,000.


Public Spending and Borrowing

The Chancellor said the UK economy is forecast to grow 1.1% this year - but this assessment does not take account of the likely impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Sunak said borrowing as a percentage of GDP will be 2.1% this year, rising to 2.4% in 2020-21, 2.8% in 2021-22, then falling back to 2.5%, 2.4% and 2.2% in the subsequent years.

Excluding the coronavirus measures, the Chancellor insisted the remainder his Budget falls with the fiscal rules set by his predecessor Sajid Javid, with debt as a share of GDP predicted to fall from 79.5% this year to 75.2% by the end of this Parliament.

The Chancellor also announced a multi-year spending review for departmental budgets which will be concluded in July. It came as he announced an average 2.8% boost to public spending in real terms.

He also announced the establishment of new Treasury offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the creating of a new 'economic campus' with 750 employees in the north of England.

Devolved administrations are also set to receive extra cash, including £640m for the Scottish Government, £360m for the Welsh Government, and £210m for the Northern Ireland executive.

The Treasury's Green Book funding rules are also set to be reviewed in bid to provide fairer spending settlements across all regions of the UK.

TAX

Beer, wine and spirits duty will all remain frozen this year, with pubs set to get a one-off business rates discount of £5,000.

Fuel duty is also set to remain frozen for another year following an outcry from Conservative backbenchers.

The 'Red Diesel' tax relief scheme will be abolished for 'most sectors' - but the move will not apply to farmers.

The so-called Tampon Tax is set to be scrapped from January 2021 when the UK leaves the EU, meaning VAT of 5% will no longer be charged on sanitary products.

The National Insurance threshold is set to rise from £8,632 to £9,500, a move Mr Sunak claimed would save the average employee around £104 annually.

A new 'plastics packaging tax' will see manufacturers and importers charged £200 per tonne of packaging made with less than 30% recycled plastics.

VAT on digital publications, including books and newspapers, will be scrapped from December 1 this year.

From April 2022 the climate change levy on electricity will be frozen but will be increased on gas.


BUSINESS

As previously announced, Mr Sunak said corporation tax would remain at 19% after a plan to drop it to 17% was scrapped.

Research and Development investment will rise to £22bn annually.

Meanewhile, a £6bn saving will be made by reducing the lifetime limit for Entrepreneurs' Relief from £10m to £1m. But the relief will not be scrapped entirely following warnings from small business-owners.


INFRASTRUCTURE

A major £600bn injection will be made to boost Britain's infrastructure, with the Chancellor declaring that "if the country needs it we will build it".

It will include a £27bn pot to boost Britain's road network, including a dedicated £2.5bn fund to help repair 50 million potholes across the country.

£120m is being made immediately available to repair damaged defences following the recent winter floods, while the fund to build flood defences across the country will be doubled to £5.2bn

£5bn will be made available to roll-out superfast broadband across the country, while £510m will be used to boost mobile phone coverage in rural areas.


HOUSING

A multi-year funding settlement will give £12bn to extend the Government's affordable homes programme, while £1.1bn will be added to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build nearly 70,000 new homes in high-demand areas.

The Chancellor also announced a £1bn building safety fund will be made available to remove unsafe cladding from all public and private buildings over 18m.

Meanwhile, £650m will be spent on helping rough sleepers get off the streets and into permanent accomodation.

A stamp duty surcharge for foreign buyers of UK properties of 2% will be levied from April 2021


NHS

The Chancellor said NHS funding will be boosted by £6bn in this Parliament to help fund his party's campaign promises of 50,000 more nurses, 50 million more GP appointments and the building of 40 new hospitals.

The NHS surchage for overseas patients will rise to £624, but children will be given a discount.


SCIENCE AND EDUCATION

Paying tribute to his predecessor Sajid Javid, the Chancellor said he would invest £1.5bn over the next five years to improve further education colleges.

He also announced he was providing every region in the country with extra funding for special 16-19 maths schools.

Secondary schools are to receive an average funding boost of £25,000 to invest in arts activities, while a further £30m package is being made available to boost PE teaching.

The Science Institute in Weybridge is to get a £1.4bn funding boost, while an extra £900m will be spending on research into nuclear fusion, space and electric vehicles.

 

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