Major Announcements by Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak has today set out plans to mitigate the impacts that coronavirus has had on the construction sector and economy at large. Here are some of the key highlights from today’s announcement.
The Construction Talent Retention Scheme
In a move to protect against widespread redundancies across the sector, the Government in conjunction with the Construction Leadership Council, announced a new Construction Talent Retention Scheme.
Under the scheme, employers will be able to redeploy staff at risk of redundancy through an online portal and temporarily loan employees between different businesses.
This scheme will also make it easier for redundant workers from other sectors to find employment in the construction sector.
The Talent Retention Scheme will launch later in July and all services provided by the scheme are initially free until April 2021.
The Green Homes Grant
With the UK aiming to go carbon neutral by 2050, it was also announced that from September 2020, homeowner occupiers and landlords are able to apply for vouchers to cover costs associated with making their properties more energy efficient.
The vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost to make their homes more energy efficient, up to a limit of £5,000 per home. Up to £10,000 will be provided for low income households to cover the entire cost of the upgrade.
“Taken together we expect these measures to make over 650,000 homes more energy efficient, save households up to £300 a year on their bills.”
“And, most importantly right now, support around 140,000 green jobs.” Said the chancellor.
In order to pay for the vouchers, the Government has set aside £2bn, with a further £1bn allocated to making public buildings and social housing more energy efficient.
reminder that Novus are able to assist with any energy efficient works required to properties.
Temporary cut to stamp duty
From tomorrow, the Government will raise the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 in a move that will see “nearly nine out of 10 people buying their main home this year will pay no stamp duty at all.”
The chancellor hopes that this will give people the confidence “to buy, sell, renovate, move and improve” properties that will in-turn “drive growth, that will create jobs.”
This temporary cut is in place for England and Northern Ireland and will run until at least 31 March 2021.
VAT has been slashed for hospitality sector
To get the hospitality sector moving again, VAT will be slashed by the chancellor.
Beginning 1 week from today (8th July) until 12th January, VAT has been cut from 20% to 5% on food from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, and attractions such as cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
Mr. Sunak also introduced a surprise pioneering scheme to provide everyone in the UK “Eat Out to Help Out” discount during August.
“Meals eaten at any participating business, Monday to Wednesday, will be 50% off, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children,” he said.
Further job retention schemes
Further measures to ensure job retention were also given the green light today.
“If you stand by your workers, we will stand by you.” That was the clear message to struggling businesses faced with making their staff redundant due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“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.”
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.”
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