Chancellor Rishi Sunak today unveiled his Budget aimed at getting the country out of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis.
He told the Commons that recovery would be ‘swifter and more sustained’ than thought before but warned it would take ‘a long time’ to rebuild and vowed to do ‘whatever it takes’ to support people.
Here’s a rundown on his measures and what they mean to dealerships large and small as well as the automotive industry in general:
- £3,000 for each new apprentice hired between April 1 and September 30 – twice the current amount
- Eligible retail businesses will pay no business rates for three months, with up to 66 per cent relief for the rest of the year worth over £6bn in 2021-22
- Business rates holiday for the retail sector will continue until the end of June, and will be discounted by two-thirds for the remaining nine months of the financial year
- A new Restart Grant in April to help businesses reopen with £5bn of new funding
- The planned increase in fuel duty has also been cancelled – the eleventh consecutive year it’s been frozen
- The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is extended, with the fourth grant covering February to April, worth 80 per cent of average trading profits up to £7,500, with a fifth grant available from July
- Recovery Loan Scheme to replace Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans
- Help to Grow: Digital will give small businesses free online technology advice and 50 per cent discounts on new productivity-enhancing software
- National Living Wage minimum to increase to £8.91 from April
- Contactless payment limit increased to £100 – but although it’s effective as of now, it’ll take a while for businesses to adjust their systems
Sunak also confirmed that the furlough scheme will be extended to the end of September.
In addition, the government is investing £25bn in what it called ‘the biggest two-year business tax cut in history’.
Its 130 per cent ‘super-deduction’, which starts next month, means companies can cut their taxes by up to 25p for every pound they invest
In all, government support for the economy to 2022 will have amounted to £407bn, and Sunak said it was only fair that businesses helped with paying it back.
As such, the rate of corporation tax, paid on company profits, will increase to 25 per cent in April 2023, but small businesses with profits of £50,000 or less will continue to be taxed at 19 per cent.
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