Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a series of measures yesterday aimed at getting the UK back on it’s feet following the impact of COVID19.
Many of the measures were focused on providing financial support to specific industries for example the NHS, scientific research, schools and providing funding to local authorities to assist them in supporting local businesses. Also significant support will be available for youngsters to ensure that they are able to find jobs and generally supporting people to find jobs and getting the skills they need to do so.
For employers a one off payment of £1,000 will be available for every employee that they have furloughed and that they retain in employment until January 2021. This money will be available to claim from February 2021. More detail on this will be published by the end of July.
There were very few tax measures announced, however the most significant was the increase in the threshold, which, if exceeded, you will be liable to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on a property purchase. This is being increased from £125,000 to £500,000. This increased limit will apply from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021. This means, and I quote, “ Nearly nine out of ten people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no SDLT at all”.
Other tax related items were aimed at the hospitality industry and included participating restaurants offering punters a 50% discount, subject to a maximum of £10 per head, when eating out Monday to Wednesday for the month of August and reducing the rate of VAT to 5% on supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises. This is a temporary measure and will only run from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021
There was a lot about what the government is going to spend and one might ask how is the government going to recoup this and where from..
All I will say is that there is expected to be a budget in November and my personal opinion is that we will see some significant changes to tax, probably in increases in the rate of tax, so it will be a case of watch this space……..