Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough): extended until the end of September – on current terms until 30th June, then employers will be expected to pay 10% in July towards the hours their staff that do not work, rising to 20% in August and September.
Self-Employment Income Support: Fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant will be available to claim from next month worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits up to £7,500). People who filed 2019-20 tax returns – will be eligible for the fourth and fifth grants of the scheme. Fifth SEISS grant covering May-September with a turnover test.
Restart Grant: cash grants of up to £18,000 to firms in retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure and personal care. Non-essential retail businesses will get up to £6,000 per premises.
Discretionary business grant: Additional £425m of funding for Local Authorities to distribute.
5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism: extended for six months to 30th September. There will then by an interim rate of 12.5% for another six months .
Business rates: 100% business rates holiday through to the end of June. For the remaining nine months of the year, business rates will still be discounted by two thirds, up to a value of £2m for closed businesses and £105k for other eligible properties.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme: the scheme will continue with details on steps for closing this scheme to be set out in due course.
Income tax exemptions: exemptions for COVID-19 tests and home office expenses extended to the 2021-22 tax year.
Support for Airports: Airports and Ground Operations Support scheme renewed for a further six months from the start of 2021-22.
Corporation Tax: will increase from 19 per cent to 25 per cent in April 2023. Companies with profits under £50,000 will remain at 19 percent, meaning only 10 percent of companies will pay the higher rate.
Super deduction: for the next two years, when companies invest they may reduce their tax bill by 130 percent of the cost.
Trading loss carry-back rule: temporarily extended from one to three years for losses of up to £2m.
Bank surcharge: review to make sure the combined rate of tax on UK banks does not increase significantly and they remain internationally competitive.
VAT threshold: VAT registration and deregistration thresholds will not change for a further period of two years from 1 April 2022.
Fuel Duty: frozen for 2021-22.
Access to Finance
Recovery Loan Scheme: From 6 April 2021, the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million. This replaces the CBILS and BBLS schemes which close at the end of March.
Contactless payments: the legal limit on single payments will rise from £45 to £100.
Future Fund: companies with high R&D intensity that are aiming to raise at least £20m of funding will be eligible to apply for HMG investment.
Education and Skills
Apprenticeships: employer incentives: the cash bonus scheme for hiring apprentices will rise to £3K per hire, regardless of the apprentice’s age and extended by 6 months to September 21 (age 16-24 rises from 2k to 3K and over 25s rises from £1.5K to £3k).
New Flexi job Apprenticeship: £7m from July 2021. Individuals will be linked to an agency, instead of a single employer, and take on different jobs with multiple businesses in one sector. Aimed at sectors such as the creative
Traineeship: £126 million to triple the number of traineeships – creating an extra 40,000 in 2021/22. Eligibility expanded to those with Level 3 qualifications. Employer incentive payment of £1,000 per trainee.
New ‘fast track’ visa for highly skilled workers: those with a job offer from a ‘recognised high-growth’ firm will qualify for a visa, without the need for sponsorship or third-party endorsement.
‘Global Talent’ Visa: reform giving international prize winners and those showing early promise automatic qualification.
Statutory Sick Pay: UK SMEs can continue to claim 2 weeks of eligible SSP, from day 1 of illness, as temporary measure until further notice.
Low Pay Commission remit published: the National Living Wage target is 2/3 of median earnings, and eligibility lowered to age 21 by 2024.
Freeports: new freeports announced including Liverpool City Region to encourage free trade with simpler planning, lower taxes, cheaper customs and infrastructure funding.
New National Infrastructure Bank: will be capitalised with £12bn of equity and debt capital and be able to issue up to £10bn of guarantees. The bank will begin operating in an interim form in spring 2021 and will be headquartered in Leeds.
Levelling Up Fund: prospectus launched, inviting bids from local areas for local infrastructure projects which improve “everyday life”.
Town Deals: £1bn for 45 new Town Deals including £25m for Leyland and £20.9m for Preston.
£220m UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus launched to support communities to pilot programmes and new approaches as Government moves away from EU Structural Funds to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Consultation on R&D Tax reliefs and enterprise management incentives: HMT has issued a consultation to look at possible improvements. One is to bring data and cloud computing costs within the scope of the relief.
R&D Tax Credit: from accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2021 the amount of SME payable R&D Tax Credit will be capped at £20,000 plus three times the business’ total PAYE and NICs liability.
Read the Chamber’s response to the Budget.
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