The Chancellor’s 2020 Summer Statement
Mr Sunak emphasised that we are only part way through the pandemic crisis and he will be coming back with further proposals later in the year – most notably in the planned Autumn Budget, when there will be a full major review of government spending (postponed from the pre-election timetable) as well as proposals for tax.
A couple of significant tax changes were included in the Summer Statement: businesses in the hospitality sector will enjoy a six-months VAT reduction to 5% from 15 July to 12 January in the new year. The other change was the increase in the Stamp Duty nil rate band to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland intended to boost the housing market.
Tax increases affecting pensions, inheritance tax, Council Tax and taxes on income did not feature in the Summer Statement. There are likely to be a raft of tax proposals in these areas in the Autumn Budget.
Some of the other measures were all about increasing Government spending to support, protect and create jobs. They included:
- A Job Retention Bonus for employers of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is employed after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends in October and still on the payroll at the end of January 2021.
- A new Kickstart Scheme covering employers’ costs for new six-month work placements for trainees aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
- Payments of up to £2,000 to employers who hire new apprentices.
- 50% meal discounts up to £10 per diner on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August under an ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme