Chancellor's plan to "protect, support and create jobs"

Today the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Government’s overall plan to protect, support and create jobs, as part of second phase of dealing with economic crisis created by coronavirus pandemic.

The third phase will be “rebuilding and levelling up”, due to begin with the Autumn budget and spending review.

The three areas of the second phase were presented as follows:

1. Measures intended to Protect

  • Job Retention Bonus – what the BBC called the ‘rabbit out of the hat’ – £1,000 bonus available to employers for any of their employees who’ve been on furlough at any point, who have returned to work, earning at least £520 monthly on average over the period till January.
  • For Young People (two and a half times more likely to work in sectors that have been closed during coronavirus):
    • Kickstart scheme – paying employers to create new jobs for 16-24 year olds working a minimum of 25 hours a week, with training and support given – six months wages plus overheads will be funded from next month, £2bn available and no cap on the number of places available.
    • Apprenticeships – £2k for employers per apprentice, plus new bonus for 25+ year olds of up to £1.5k.
    • Traineeships – £1k for employers for each one created for 18-19 year olds.
    • £1bn investment in DWP to support people generally returning to the work place for careers advisors, work coaches etc.

2. Measures intended toCreate Jobs

A number of investments in infrastructure/ Green jobs to protect and create jobs in construction and to keep the housing market moving so people can find & retain work:

  • £1bn to retrofit public buildings for greater energy efficiency.
  • £2bn available for Green Homes Grants covering 2/3 of costs up to £5k (up to £10k for low income households) for greater energy efficiency of homes.
  • £50m for projects to decarbonise social housing
  • Stamp Duty wiped on house purchases up to £500,000 from today through to next March

3. Measures to Support industries

Helping the Hardest Hit e.g. Tourism & Hospitality industries (2m people with greater proportions of women, young & BAME people work)

  • VAT cut from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions to boost the tourism and hospitality industries, where 1.4m employees were furloughed – from Wednesday until January.
  • August: Eat Out to Help Out – 50% discount on food, up to £10 per head, Monday to Wednesdays – which businesses can register for and claim back within five working days.

One particular measure that was oddly glossed over at the beginning of the Chancellor’s speech was an increase in the funding going to Local Authorities from £18bn to £50bn – a huge amount to be presented with no explanation, and one likely to impact significantly on charities delivering locally.

As ever with these kind of announcements, the detail is yet to follow, and we’ll get a better idea of how they will impact on charities and the wider voluntary sector as the finer points emerge over the coming days and weeks.

Read the full speech and more details of the plan here